A B-train semi truck rolled off Highway 3 west of Fernie last night. As of Thursday morning the driver is in serious condition. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

Semi truck rolls near tunnel, driver in serious condition

A B-train semi truck loaded with calcium chloride went off Highway 3 west of Fernie last night

The driver of a B-train semi truck that rolled off Highway 3 west of Fernie last night remains in serious condition.

According to RCMP Traffic Services, the truck, loaded with calcium chloride, had gone over the embankment near the tunnel at around 6:20 p.m. and was potentially leaking calcium chloride near the Elk River. Traffic Services says that calcium chloride is a fairly benign substance, used mainly to brine the roads and keep dust down on gravel roads.

Highway 3 was reduced to single lane alternating traffic until approximately 2 a.m.

“The driver of the semi truck was trapped inside and could not be extricated by (those) who initially responded,” said Cst. Mike Halskov, media relations officer with RCMP E-division Traffic Services.

“Police and emergency services attended the scene and used a long line rescue to get the driver out of the vehicle and up the steep embankment.

“He has since been rushed to hospital where he remains in serious condition.”

The driver from Alberta was the only person in the vehicle at the time.

Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Environment, Mainroad Contracting, Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement Branch were all informed of the situation. East Kootenay Traffic Services has taken conduct of the investigation.

The recovery of the truck will happen either later today or tomorrow, and will require the use of a crane. This will cause intermittent closures of Hwy 3 in that area in both directions.

Check DriveBC.ca for updates on road closures.

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