Wednesday July 23, 2014





Pork pulled from Little River after rig rollover

'They had people in boats collecting debris from the wreck and collecting the boxes of pork'

Scores of people pulled boxes of pork roast from Little River Wednesday after a rig rolled off the Trans-Canada Highway into Shuswap Lake.

Joe Jules said dozens of people took to boats and worked the shoreline to remove all of the 100-pound boxes from the water.

"They were floating on the river and washing up on shore," said Jules, a member of Simpcw First Nation. "They had people in boats collecting debris from the wreck and collecting the boxes of pork."

The boxes were cardboard but the pork was wrapped in plastic. He said the cold water kept the frozen roasts from thawing out.

Jules said the Little Shuswap Indian Band put a call out to area First Nations on Tuesday, but he saw several non-aboriginals doing their part as well.

He loaded eight bundles of pork into the trunk and back seat of his car. Jules drove the highway home because the weight of the meat made it difficult to navigate the dirt road through Agate Bay.

"We realized we'd never make it through the back roads because of the potholes," he said.

The family rearranged their freezer but couldn't keep all the pork, so they gave some roasts away, said Jules.

Meanwhile, it's hoped evidence from the site of Tuesday's rollover will reveal the condition of the driver and the big rig's speed, RCMP analyst Cpl. Jason Reader said Wednesday.

The truck went into the lake at Cruickshank Point some time between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Monday, but wasn't discovered until the next morning.

The cab was submerged in about three metres of water and the body of the driver was found nearby. RCMP have identified him as Gurminder Singh Minhas, 30, of Calgary.

Const. Darren King said Minhas, a driver for Syndicate Transport in Calgary, was bound for Vancouver when the accident happened.

The trailer detached and floated into Little River before it was pulled to shore.

Physical evidence at the scene, including weight-shift marks from the tires, will help determine whether the driver was asleep, Reader said.

Someone who is awake would travel straight, but someone who was falling asleep might veer in the wrong direction, he noted.

Evidence will also help determine the speed of the truck — most crucially, whether it was going too fast, Reader said. The fact that the roof of the cab was ripped off showed that it did a full rollover, he said.

Reader's full report on the accident will be ready at the end of April.





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