A disaster was narrowly avoided Monday when a tanker hauling aviation fuel was involved in an accident with a tractor trailer and a car on Highway 3 near Manning Park.
“It was miraculous that nobody was killed,” said RCMP Sergeant Barry Kennedy, who was on the scene.
“Aviation fuel is highly flammable and those trailers were full of it,” he said. “It could have potentially exploded on impact and it would have been huge.”
The accident occurred at about noon, close to Placer Mountain Forest Service Road.
According to Kennedy a westbound truck carrying scrap metal failed to negotiate the curve west of Sunday Summit, crossed the center line and overturned.
The truck’s load spilled on the highway and large sheets of metal hit the eastbound truck carrying the dangerous load.
“We were very luck that the shrapnel did not go into either of the tankers of aviation fuel,” said Kennedy.
The metal shredded the tires of the tanker truck, and punctured one of its diesel tanks, he said.
Three hundred liters of diesel spilled onto the road and was later cleaned up by a Hazmat unit.
“The driver of the car was lucky that the tanker truck absorbed most of the impact otherwise the result would have been most likely fatal for the occupants of the car,” added Kennedy.
The driver of the scrap metal truck was extracted by Princeton Highway Rescue workers and paramedics.
The 50-year-old Hanceville man was taken to hospital suffering from rib and head injuries.
Police continue to investigate and charges are pending, said Kennedy.
The accident is a reminder of the dangers of mountain driving, he said.
“When we were dispatched to the call the weather was beautiful in Princeton but it was a blizzard on Sunday Summit. Be prepared for changing road conditions when traveling through mountains.”