Beer truck overturns after hitting moose on TCH

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Paul Hutchings
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Driver escapes with minor injuries

Police say the driver of this 18-wheel truck is lucky to be alive after he swerved to avoid hitting a moose and ended up flipping his vehicle on the side of the highway near the Howley exit. — Photos by Paul Hutchings/The Western Star

Police say a truck driver is lucky to be alive after he hit a moose on the Trans-Canada Highway just west of the Howley exit.

The driver suffered only minor injuries and was able to walk away from the overturned vehicle, which was destroyed when it went off the road just after 5 a.m. Thursday.

The 51-year-old male driver from the Conception Bay South area swerved in an attempt to avoid the moose but still hit it, causing him to lose control and veer into the opposing lane and into the ditch beyond.

Cpl. Steven O’Blenis of the Deer Lake RCMP said he isn’t sure how the driver survived. He said the sleeper section of the truck was completely crushed, as was the passenger side. The truck came to rest on its passenger side in some water, meaning if the driver was unconscious, he might have drowned.

The only way out was through the driver’s side door.

“He somehow managed to crawl out with some scratches and bruises and was able to talk to emergency personnel that arrived shortly after,” said O’Blenis. “An officer has been dispatched to talk to him in the hospital. We’ll know more later.”

The truck had been carrying a load of beer, which was spilling from the trailer and, as of Thursday, police weren’t sure of the driver’s destination. They do not suspect alcohol of being a factor in the incident.

Police are warning drivers to continue being aware of the potential for moose walking across the highway, as O’Blenis said this accident could have turned out a lot worse for the driver.

The driver was taken to Western Memorial Hospital in Corner Brook where he was treated for minor injuries. Wildlife Department officials had been contacted Thursday and were to dispose of the animal, which ended up on the opposite side of the highway to the accident.

The Western Star

Organizations: Trans-Canada Highway, Western Memorial Hospital in Corner Brook

Geographic location: Conception Bay

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