A Yellowknife resident warned “at some point, someone will die” after a paving truck hit her camper van on the city’s Finlayson Drive.
Nicole Loubert described a Texada paving truck hitting her camper and parked car outside her home on Thursday morning, sending the camper across the sidewalk.
Police confirmed the driver, who was not named, faces a charge of careless driving.
Texada, which is currently based in Alberta, said the driver “won’t be driving for a while” but would be given a second chance.
The company’s owner, Gary Parenteau, told Cabin Radio: “I regret that we had an accident and I regret that people lost some property, but our insurance company has been in contact with them.
“We did all the proper things. It was just an accident,” said Parenteau. “All our vehicles are safety inspected – we follow the Alberta commercial vehicle inspection program – and we have done everything that we could possibly do to be safe.
“Unfortunately, it was an accident, but we’re doing things to correct that. We’ve had safety meetings since then. We’re following our policies.”
Loubert, however, said trucks working on paving contracts had posed an issue in the neighbourhood “for a long time.”
In particular, she said, vehicles of all kinds speeding in the school zone – where the limit is 30 km/h – have been an ongoing problem.
The force of Thursday’s impact knocked Loubert’s camper across what she said is often “a very, very busy sidewalk” on Finlayson Drive.
“It’s always people walking dogs, walking babies, kids on bikes. It could have been horrible,” she said.
A vehicle and camper van are pictured askew on Finlayson Drive after being hit by a paving truck. Photo: Nicole Loubert
“It’s been a concern for a lot of people around here. At some point, someone will die. That could have happened here, yesterday. It went ‘bang’ like it was an explosion.
“Now we’re waiting to hear from the insurance company. The car is garbage, so my daughter is out of transportation to get to work. And we were going camping, but we are not any more.”
‘A narrow stretch’
In a short statement, Yellowknife RCMP said: “At approximately 10:38am on Thursday, July 18, Yellowknife RCMP received a call about a fifth-wheel and a vehicle that sustained damages after being hit by a dump truck on Finlayson Drive.
“Officers attended the site. No one sustained injuries due to this incident. The driver of the dump truck has been charged with one count of careless driving.”
Parenteau, providing Texada’s interpretation of the incident, said: “When you come off Kam Lake Road onto Finlayson, there are RVs and vehicles and it’s a little bit of a narrow stretch.
“The driver just got too close to an RV and struck the RV. And then the RV was propelled by the truck and piled into the SUV parked in front of it.”
Parenteau said police were “obligated” to charge the driver with what he termed “a minor offence.”
“He’s on days off right now, which is our policy,” said Parenteau, “and he won’t be driving for a while.
“It’s his first incident since he’s been with us and, if everything is done by the book, we believe in giving people second chances.”
Parenteau said his company –which he said is finishing up paving work on Calder Crescent this week – has had no other accident he can recall in Yellowknife since it began taking contracts in the city 18 years ago.
Parenteau added Texada will be moving its base of operations from Alberta to Yellowknife in the near future.
Emelie Peacock contributed reporting.