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Motorcyclist killed by logging truck's load in Whistler identified

Mayor concerned about logging trucks



The 65-year-old motorcyclist killed when a logging truck lost its load of lumber Oct.19 has been identified as Hugh Craig Roberts by the B.C. Coroners Service.

Whistler mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden has expressed her concerns with logging truck safety in her community. The mayor posted on her Facebook page and shared her concern with news outlets over the weekend after a logging truck spilled its load Saturday afternoon at Nordic Drive.

Wilhelm-Morden spoke to the CBC and told Pique in an interview that the two crashes this month have raised a very serious safety issue.

“We don’t have any jurisdiction unfortunately over the provincial highway,” said Wilhelm-Morden, “so we can’t do something like ban logging trucks but we do have responsibility for policing.”

She noted RCMP members were inspecting logging trucks last week, checking weights and heights of the loads moving through Whistler.

“In the days coming up we will be discussing with the RCMP what additional steps they can take with respect to enforcement,” said Wilhelm-Morden.

Since the incident the mayor has been hearing from residents and visitors, who are expressing shock and concern.

“This happened right in the middle of town on a Saturday afternoon when the highway was busy with motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, with motorcycles — people are really worried,” she said.

Grant Lamont is one such worried resident. He is certain he saw the southbound logging truck while he was gathering a load of firewood north of Whistler. He said the blue logging truck had logs stacked two or three above the racks on the truck.

Lamont said he turned off the highway at 2:20 p.m. at Spruce Grove and went about his day. Later, he checked his phone and saw Facebook posts about a fatal logging truck incident.

Logs fell from a truck onto an oncoming motorbike at about 2:30 p.m. Saturday, killing a 65-year-old motorcyclist.

Lamont said he saw three or four logging trucks on Saturday that looked overloaded to him. He doesn’t have a concern with the truck speeds and noted that one driver gave him a very wide berth while he was cycling on the highway a few days ago. The truck he saw while he was hauling firewood on Saturday wasn’t speeding, he said.

Like Wilhelm-Morden, Lamont said he feels for the family of the man who was killed while riding his motorcycle through Whistler.

“My deepest condolences to the family of the West Van man who lost his life in the accident,” Wilhelm-Morden wrote on her Mayor Nancy Facebook page and she reiterated the comment on Sunday in an interview.

Check here for more on the fatal accident that closed Highway 99 for more than 12 hours.