Abbotsford trucking company suspended after oversized load narrowly misses striking Burnaby overpass

It’s the 34th time a truck has struck an overpass since the province started keeping track in December 2021

The entire fleet of an Abbotsford-based trucking company has been suspended after a helicopter that was being carried on one of its transport trucks narrowly missed hitting the Gilmore Avenue overpass in Burnaby. 

The top of the helicopter struck a sign hanging from the overpass as the truck was travelling eastbound on Highway 1 Monday afternoon, according to a statement from the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation.

The overpass was not visibly damaged, it said. 

“The driver had received an oversized permit, however the height exceeded what was stated on the permit,” said the ministry.

International Machine Transport Inc. has been issued an immediate suspension across their 20-vehicle fleet until an investigation is completed, according to the statement.

CBC contacted the company and was told “no comment.”

Initial reports had the helicopter on the truck hitting the Brunette Avenue overpass in Coquitlam, which was not the case, according to the ministry statement.

This is the 34th time a commercial vehicle has sparked an investigation for a bridge or overpass strike since the province started keeping track in December 2021.

It’s also the latest incident in a recent flurry of overpass hits and near-misses. 

shrinkwrapped helicopter on truck flatbed
International Machine Transport Inc. has had its entire fleet of 20 trucks suspended

Two trucking companies were sanctioned earlier this month, including one for a vehicle that is believed to have hit the ceiling of the George Massey Tunnel. 

In December, Chohan Freight Forwarders Ltd. had its operation licence pulled after a truck carrying large steel girders hit and damaged the 112th St. overpass on Highway 99 in Delta.

In September, the driver of a Whistler Courier and Freightways’ container truck fled the scene after smashing the truck into a Highway 1 overpass in North Vancouver. The province suspended the company’s 21 vehicles for eight days and issued a fine of $3,500. The driver has yet to be found.

The spate of crashes has sparked calls for improved standards and harsher consequences within the trucking industry — especially when critical and costly road infrastructure is damaged.

New rules announced Dec. 14  require dump-style vehicles to have in-cab warning devices by June 2024, that warn drivers if their trailer hasn’t been lowered. 

Over-height vehicle fines are increasing from $115 to $575.