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‘Really disturbed’: Fatal crash near Sicamous drives mayor’s road maintenance concerns

Council voted unanimously to send a letter with concerns to AIM Roads, Ministry of Transportation
Several commercial tractor trailer units can be seen in this RCMP drone image of the Saturday, Jan. 8, collision on Highway 1 between Sicamous and Salmon Arm. Police are seeking more information about the incident that resulted in the death of one person and sent six others to hospital. (RCMP photo)

Sicamous council took aim at the region’s highways maintenance contractor.

Coun. Bob Evans thinks there’s much more AIM Roads can be doing in terms of sanding, salting and “staying on top of” winter road conditions. At the Jan. 12 District of Sicamous council meeting, he asked that staff write a letter to AIM to address concerns regarding winter road maintenance in the Shuswap.

Mayor Terry Rysz said he was “really disturbed” by a recent crash on Highway 1 near Sicamous that killed one person and sent six more to hospital. Rysz said while he can’t know it if was driver error or road conditions that caused the crash, a solution needs to be found for road maintenance.

Coun. Jeff Mallmes claimed when it snows, the district has its roads taken care of before Highway 1 is, which he said is “not acceptable.”

Coun. Malcolm Makeyev was also displeased with the standard of road maintenance being provided. He said he used to work for the ministry of transportation and suggested a letter be sent to it as well as AIM. He stressed complaining to a “private contractor in it for the money” would do nothing.

Evans’ motion was passed unanimously and Makeyev’s suggestion was followed.

The motion was passed four days after the Jan. 8 fatal collision. According to the Sicamous RCMP, the “chain reaction collision” started when an eastbound tractor-trailer jackknifed and blocked Highway 1.

“Six individuals were transported to an area hospital by the BC Ambulance Service. One man was located deceased, pinned between the unit he was driving and the trailer of a unit that came to rest in front of his,” reads a Jan. 9 RCMP news release.

That collision came three days after a Sicamous RCMP reported seeing 10 vehicles slide off Highway 1 in their jurisdiction in just two days, Jan. 4 and 5.

“Highway maintenance crews worked on the roadway throughout the day (Jan. 5); however, police noted the roadway remained slippery with icy sections,” said Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil.

AIM Roads was asked for comment, but did not reply.

Read more:Sicamous RCMP see 10 vehicles slide off Highway 1 in last 2 days

Read more: Sicamous RCMP seek information relating to fatal multi-vehicle collision on Highway 1

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