Big Rig Rollover

Redwood Meadows Emergency Services – Redwood Meadow, AB.

This incident actually started late in the night of 4/25, about 23:45 hrs. Station 71 Springbank and Station 50 Redwood Meadows were sent to a rollover motor vehicle collision with entrapment on the Trans-Canada Highway just west of Calgary.

50 Rescue arrived first and found a semi-truck on its side in the “triangle” of grass just after an interchange where the road surface curved moderately to the left. The driver was still in the vehicle, with the trailer on its side and the truck 3/4 on its left side and roof. Both the truck and trailer were heavily damaged and deformed, with the vehicle body sheared off the frame.

Extrication began immediately with the crews of 50 Rescue and 71 Pump using two sets of rescue tools from both pieces of apparatus. The semi-trailer was a refrigerated van being used as a dry cargo van, hauling closet doors. The weight of the cargo destroyed the trailer body and tore the floor of the trailer away from the fifth wheel/kingpin plate. The cab and sleeper were twisted about 25° off center on the frame rails.

Evidence at the scene seems to imply the truck left the right side of the road just before the overpass and struck the pavement that lined the hill underneath the bridge, leading from the base of the road going under to the base of the bridge crossing over. The truck didn’t make contact with the bridge itself, but the impact with the cement tore out the 6ft driveshaft, embedding it in the ground to where only 18″ remained visible above the soil. The truck continued under the bridge and straight ahead, as the road (as mentioned) curved to the left. The truck continued to roll onto its left side and ended up in its final resting place about 200 feet beyond the bridge in the grass verge.

Extrication took 1 hr 41 min to complete. At one point, a heavy rescue from the City of Calgary was special-called, but was canceled en route when the onscene crews managed to complete a successful extrication.

Jason Low


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