Overnight Highway 20 washout closes highway; sends one to hospital

A Williams Lake man is lucky to be alive after being swept down a steep embankment in complete darkness toward the Fraser River while travelling on Highway 20 just west of the Sheep Creek Bridge early Monday morning.

The motorist and his vehicle were swept some 500 feet down the bank after water washed out a section of the highway in the middle of the night. Early reports indicate the man managed to get himself back up to the highway for help and is currently being treated at hospital.

The victim’s employer, who does not want to be named at this time, said the victim who was swept away in the wash out described driving west for work and having the “road just disappear in front of him.”

“He’s going to be OK and that’s all I want to hear,” the employer said at the hospital Monday, adding the long time Williams Lake resident is very sore but recovering.

RCMP Cpl. Madonna Saunderson, District Advisory NCO for the North District said Williams Lake RCMP were called at 3:09 a.m. and advised of the washout, estimated to be in excess of 150 metres and approximately a half of a kilometre west of the Sheep Creek Bridge on Highway 20.

Police ask that the public stay away from the area and to not travel Highway 20 at this time.

“The road is completely washed out. Ministry of Transportation is aware of the situation and are assisting investigators,” said Saunderson.

Central Cariboo Search and Rescue and BC Ambulance also attended.

At about 8 a.m. Monday morning all that was left on scene were RCMP and Ministry of Highways.

No word at this point what caused the slide or where the water came from.

Chilcotin resident Linda-Lou Howarth said motorists traveling between Williams Lake and the Chilcotin can use the Rudy Johnson Bridge and Meldrum Creek Road as a detour, which will add an extra hour to their trip.

“People have to be aware of the cattle on the road and the deer,” Howarth said, adding that the road is quite dusty.

Todd Hubner, district manager with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, said Monday they are not advising travel through the Rudy Johnson Bridge and Meldrum Creek Road detour at this point until they have assessed the route to make sure it is usuable. He encouraged the public to check DriveBC for updates.

“We have a regional geotechnical engineer coming from Kamloops who will be flying over the slide area at noon to do a site assessment,” Hubner said.

Just Posted

61st Annual 4-H Show and Sale wraps up for another year

Hundreds of youth showcased and sold animals they raised themselves

Casting call issued for new WL Studio Theatre musical

The WLST will be taking actors and audiences to a musical theatre version of Ancient Rome

Boys and Girls Club street party receives carnival makeover

All families are welcome to attend this event for free

Art Walk 2019 features artists old and new

Get to know some of the artists contributing their talent this year

VIDEO: Langley Ribfest met with protesters

Groups that oppose the event for various reasons plan to be on site each of the three days.

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral

The exchange includes emotional question from Cooper, and outlook on grief as a child

Toronto activist calling on federal parties to nominate more black candidates

Fewer than 20 black Canadians have been nominated so far, including some Liberal MPs seeking re-election

Most Read