Driver details truck quickly crossing centre line in deadly Bishop's Falls crash

·2 min read
Tony Champion was behind one of the transport trucks involved in a deadly head-on collision near Bishop's Falls on June 22. (Ryan Cooke/CBC - image credit)
Tony Champion was behind one of the transport trucks involved in a deadly head-on collision near Bishop's Falls on June 22. (Ryan Cooke/CBC - image credit)
Ryan Cooke/CBC
Ryan Cooke/CBC

A driver on the road during a fatal head-on collision of two transport trucks is sharing a first-hand account of the accident in the hope that affected families can get more information on what happened.

Tony Champion lives in British Columbia, but was driving through Bishop's Falls on the night of June 22. He was behind one of the trucks that would be involved in the accident, and remembers seeing the approaching truck coming closer and closer.

"This other truck came over the crest. It seemed like it was doing OK, then I start seeing the truck come over the lanes and go right into the Day & Ross truck that it was in front of me," Champion told CBC News.

"It just hit the other one and just crawled right over it."

The head-on collision killed both drivers and closed the highway for several days as debris needed to be cleared off the road.

Champion said he thinks a medical emergency could have caused the crash, saying the truck that drifted into the centre line seemed fine until a sudden shift in its trajectory. An official cause has not been determined.

"It seemed like the truck just came directly over the hill and just fell like gravity…. It was horrific, really horrific," he said.

"It was no way that anyone was going to survive that. It was just like a bomb went off…. It was just one big crunch and scrunch and bang. Then it smoldered a bit and then all of a sudden it just burst into flames and exploded. It was terrible. Terrible."

Submitted/Name withheld by CBC
Submitted/Name withheld by CBC

Champion said he was prompted to tell his story to help the affected families learn more about what happened. His brother-in-law died in a truck crash in 2016 that had no witnesses, leaving his family without answers about the crash.

"In the morning you wake up and it's the first thing you see. It's something that you need to process and try to get through," he said.

"What I wanted to do was make sure the families know that this truck came over the hill and had some kind of emergency."

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