A single vehicle crash has claimed the life of an unknown male on the Hill to Bella Coola.
The vehicle, reported to be a silver Toyota Tacoma truck, was discovered by road construction crew personnel mid-afternoon last Saturday, June 4.
Sources say workers apparently only detected something was wrong after stopping to allow a bear to pass in front of them. After watching the animal descend over the bank about two kilometres west of Young Creek, they noticed the unmistakable shine of a vehicle in the sun.
While details of the accident and the identity of the individual remain unclear, it is believed that the vehicle had been there for weeks or perhaps even months. Road conditions may have contributed to the tragedy, and the colour of the vehicle did little to notify other travellers and workers of its presence.
It is believed that the vehicle was travelling downhill at the time and most are speculating that snowy conditions must have covered any trace of the resulting tire tracks. The truck was located about 100 feet over the bank, but no trace of the accident was ever reported at the time.
At present it is not understood why a missing person’s report was not filed for this area, but RCMP are releasing little information until more questions are answered. The driver is believed to be a middle-aged B.C. resident who was travelling alone.
“This is an ongoing investigation and we cannot release any details until we have more answers,” said Const. Jarrod Estell of the Bella Coola RCMP. “We can confirm there has been an accident on the Hill and one person is deceased.”
Further information is not expected to be forthcoming until RCMP can determine when the accident actually took place and locate the victim’s family.
“We are still in the preliminary stages and notifying next of kin,” Estell said.
“At this point in time we cannot release a time line of when the accident may have occurred.”
While several vehicles have gone over the edge of the Hill since its construction more than 50 years ago, this is the first fatality that has apparently gone unnoticed for so long. The last fatality occurred in 2007 when an individual went over in a heavy snowfall.
In that case, the scene was quickly discovered by emergency personnel. Since that time there have been no other fatal accidents reported until last weekend.