The recovery of a rolled-over dairy truck on Highway 1 was estimated to cost more than $500,000. More than 40,000 litres of milk was lost, with an estimated value of $50,000. Ben Lypka/ Abbotsford News

Rolled-over dairy truck in Abbotsford lost 40,000 litres of milk

Truck removed Sunday, Jan. 19, with specialized equipment to upright vehicle

“There’s no use crying over spilt milk” is a saying that probably doesn’t apply when 160,000 glasses’ worth are lost in a single Highway 1 crash.

On Sunday night, a large rolled-over dairy truck was recovered from the side of Highway 1 just east of Whatcom Road, where it had been sitting wrecked since the morning of Jan. 15.

The milk hauler’s recovery was valued at over $500,000, and approximately 40,000 litres of milk was lost, a spokesperson for the BC Milk Marketing Board said in an email. At $5 for a four-litre jug of milk, the total dollar amount in spilled milk would be over $50,000 alone.

The spokesperson said the crash occurred on Jan. 15 at around 2 a.m. following a snowfall, icy roads and blowing snow. This was five hours before the highway was closed from Chilliwack to Abbotsford.

“A third-party transport truck moved in front of the milk hauler. This led to blind conditions, which caused the milk truck to leave the roadway,” the BC Milk Marketing Board said. “We’re pleased to report the driver is fine and will recover.”

Abbotsford Police put out a warning on social media that morning, just before the highway was closed, to warn drivers to stay home due to the treacherous conditions. They said emergency crews were having trouble reaching all the stranded drivers.

The dairy truck was removed between 7 and 9 p.m. on Sunday because it was the safest time to remove the vehicle and not impede traffic, said the BC Milk Marketing Board.

“Specialized equipment is needed to upright the truck and tanker to save it from being a complete loss.”

It was one of the last wrecked vehicles to be removed from the highway, which was littered with dozens of vehicles abandoned throughout last week.

Consequently, tow services were extremely busy, according to employees at several tow-truck companies in Abbotsford.

MSA Towing received around a dozen calls alone, according to Kirpal Banwait, a manager at the company.

“[On Jan. 17], there were 30 [abandoned] cars between Chilliwack and Abbotsford,” Banwait said. “We drive by and we can count them easily. You can see them all over.”

Dwayne Robertson works at F & W Towing with his brother Frank. He says his brother was working non-stop as soon as the extreme weather conditions set in.

“Off the highway [we retrieved] probably a dozen and a half [vehicles],” Robertson said. “But I mean, we [were] pulling people out of everywhere, all throughout the city, for the whole week.”

In the period from Jan. 3 to Jan. 19, 70 per cent – 32,412 out of 46,095 – Dial-a-Claim calls to ICBC came from the Lower Mainland.

RELATED: 70% of ICBC calls in the last two weeks came from Lower Mainland

Robertson said safety is a big factor when towing wrecked vehicles off the highway. While they try not to block a lane when retrieving a car, sometimes it’s unavoidable.

“If it’s a bad spot, we’ll have another truck there, kind of as a blocker,” he said. “We all want to go home at the end of the night, right?”


@portmoodypigeon
patrick.penner@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City of Kimberley looking for feedback on active transportation

What do you like about the existing trail network for walking and cycling? What needs improvement?

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

Two candidates declared for Columbia River Revelstoke

Incumbent Doug Clovechok (BC Liberal) and NDP candidate Nicole Cherlet; nominations close Oct. 2

Dynamiters camp runs smoothly despite COVID-19 restrictions

Head Coach Stuart impressed with veterans, rookies, young local talent

Cranbrook, Kimberley communities participate in World Clean Up Day

The Columbia Outdoor School and JCI Kootenay partnered up to host events in three locations

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

Grand jury indicts police officer in Breonna Taylor death

Officer Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Attorney General of Canada defends Kelowna Mountie involved in rough arrest

Tyler Russell filed a lawsuit against Const. Siggy Pietrzak in June of this year

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Refresh of Liberal government’s agenda comes amid new looming COVID-19 crisis

Lockdowns saw fed spending soar to historic levels in effort to offset pandemic’s blow to Canadians’ livelihoods

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

Most Read