Along with the tragic death of the drivers in Highway 1 crash Sunday, a number of local animals have been lost.
Many of the 4H members on Team B.C. reside in the North Okanagan and would have been gearing up to compete at the Interior Provincial Exhibition this week, Aug. 31 to Sept. 4, as well as the Salmon Arm Fair.
Preliminary investigations shows that a westbound semi truck hauling cattle crossed over the centre line and hit an eastbound semi truck hauling lumber, according to Golden-Field RCMP.
The BC Dairy Association confirmed that 24 young people had heifers on the truck, about half from the North Okanagan-Shuswap and half from the Lower Mainland. Just one bovine survived the incident and is being treated for its injuries.
Highway 1 reopened after a 37-hour closure.
“The Interior Provincial Exhibition would like to extend heartfelt sympathies to the 4H youth who lost their animals and to the families of the drivers who tragically lost their lives in a motor vehicle accident on Aug. 28,” said IPE general manager Heather King. “This is a loss that affects not only our fair, but our community. And the 4H program. The kids raised these animals from newborn calves to yearlings. Eighteen of the animals in the crash were to be part of the show at the IPE this year.”
The 4H clubs involved were returning from the Western Canadian Classic (WCC) in Brandon that was held Aug. 23-27.
“Community is one of the four pillars of 4H fundamental beliefs and our local 4H community is hurting,” Spallumcheen Mayor Christine Fraser said. “Our thoughts are with these young members of our community at this time.
“On behalf of Township of Spallumcheen council I would like to express our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the truck drivers that lost their lives yesterday in the horrible accident on Highway 1 near Golden. Our thoughts and condolences are also with the entire Team BC Dairy 4H members who lost their calves, equipment, and luggage in this awful situation and all the dairy farmers that lost animals.”
Three men, two from Chilliwack and one from Calgary, have been identified as the drivers killed in the crash.
“We would like to extend our deepest condolences to the families of the drivers who lost their lives in this accident. They are in all of our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. As you can imagine the entire WCC Team BC is struggling with this today, especially the young people who cared for the calves which perished in the crash. We are arranging to provide whatever support they might need,” the 4H team wrote in an Aug. 29 statement.
The cattle liner had two drivers onboard with the intent of ensuring the driver was fresh, confirmed the dairy association.