The remains of a tractor trailer unit are removed from the Malakwa Bridge

Update: Malakwa Bridge limited to one lane following fatal collision


Traffic remains restricted to one lane Monday afternoon following a fatal collision on the Malakwa Bridge  Saturday night which killed a 29-year-old Abbotsford man.

The incident occurred at around 8:30 p.m. A westbound semi tractor-trailer and an eastbound semi hauling a flatbed clipped each other as they were crossing the bridge, Cpl. Mike Wasylenki of the Trans Canada East Traffic Services reported Monday. As a result, the driver of the westbound semi lost control and collided with the bridge.

Firefighters and an Eagle Valley Rescue Society crew were soon on the scene. The jaws of life was needed to extricate the driver of the westbound vehicle. One witness reported, “the dash was literally right on top of him.” The driver was finally removed at about 11 p.m., but died soon after from serious injuries.

The bridge remained closed to traffic until late Sunday afternoon. Ministry of Transportation spokesperson Jeff Knight says the collision resulted in damage to a structural component of the arch on the west abutment. Temporary repairs have since been made. However, Knight says travel on the bridge will be restricted to the east lane, allowing only one commercial vehicle  at a time, until full repairs are completed later this week. Subsequently, Drive BC is reporting two- and three-hour delays for sailings at the Galena Bay and Shelter Bay ferries.

It was only a matter of time before such a tragedy occurred at the Malakwa Bridge, says area resident Darline Menear.

“It scares me when I go across the bridge, especially when trailers are coming… especially at night” stated Menear.

Menear says she has written to the Ministry of Transportation asking for a walkway for her grandchildren. She says she was told that until circumstances such as a “fatal crash” takes place, nothing would be done.

Terry Morin, a truck driver, says the speed limit on the bridge needs to be addressed.. “They should take the speed limit down,” says Morin. “Trucks have to be 10 km. slower, at least.”

Responding to word that the bridge is soon coming up for replacement, Knight said that, apart from the current damage, “the bridge is in good shape and it will perform for many years yet.”

Wasylenki says the incident remains under investigation.

Story includes files from Victoria Rowbottom


The Malakwa Bridge remains closed following a two-vehicle collision Saturday night.

Witnesses report a westbound semi tractor-trailer was sideswiped while crossing the bridge at around 8:30 p.m. by an oncoming semi hauling a flatbed. The eastbound truck continued on, while the westbound semi is said to have collided with the bridge. The damage to the semi was severe enough to require an Eagle Valley Rescue Society crew to extricate the driver from the cab.

Fire crews on the scene also had to deal with a resulting engine fire.

Engineers have been called to the scene to inspect structural damage to the bridge, which has remained closed since the incident and may open late Sunday afternoon, though Drive BC reports low confidence that this will occur.

The Eagle Valley News will continue to provide updates when information is available.


Photos by Victoria Rowbottom


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sicamous Eagles suffer winless weekend

Games against the North Okanagan Knights, Summerland Steam and Kmaloops Storm all ended badly.

Rockslide obstructing traffic in Sunnybrae

Large boulders rolled onto Sunnybrae Canoe-Point Road in the South Shuswap.

Island road trip unkind to playoff-bound Silverbacks

As the ‘Backs hit the road, the chase for a better playoff berth in the Interior was heating up.

South Canoe Elementary made K-8 for one year

The motion was passed to keep students from making multiple transfers

Word on the street: What is your biggest pet peeve regarding cellphone use?

In light of Unplug and Play Family Literacy Week run by the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Music stars pay tribute to Kobe Bryant at Grammys award show

Music artists including Billy Ray Cyrus, Rick Ross and Kirk Franklin paid tribute to Bryant

Pregnant B.C. woman stuck in Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak

Woman is due to give birth in Wuhan, China unless she can get out

Victoria-area wolf tranquilized after being seen running around neighbourhood

Officials say wolf unharmed during its ‘arrest’

Ontario confirms second presumptive coronavirus case in wife of first patient

Both arrived on a China Southern Airlines flight after having been to Wuhan

Classic tale seeks North Okanagan ballet dancers

Anne of Green Gables, by Ballet Jorgen, in Vernon

North Okanagan youth ready to make some NOYSE

Showcase of excellence features talents of young local performance

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Most Read