'Freak accident' involving tractor-trailer leaves Maugerville residents mourning

·3 min read
Residents of Maugerville are in a state of shock and mourning after a man in the community was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer while standing in the driveway of his home along Route 105. Route 105 is pictured in this file photo taken in 2020. (Mike Heenan/CBC - image credit)
Residents of Maugerville are in a state of shock and mourning after a man in the community was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer while standing in the driveway of his home along Route 105. Route 105 is pictured in this file photo taken in 2020. (Mike Heenan/CBC - image credit)

Residents of a community east of Fredericton are mourning after a "freak accident" resulted in the death of a 62-year-old man.

Markus Harvey lives about half a kilometre away from where RCMP say a man was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer while standing in the driveway of his home along Route 105, east of Fredericton.

Harvey said that he noticed an ambulance rush past his home Monday night, followed by more emergency vehicles.

Shortly after, news of what happened began circulating among neighbours.

"I know in my house it was a pretty solemn evening once we … found out what had happened. It, you know, it's so, so very sad," Harvey said.

"You know, this gentleman who got hit is, is a husband, a father, a grandfather, a member of the community, a business owner. You know, a really good guy and from a fairly big family and … for such a freak accident to happen was obviously shocking."

Ed Hunter/CBC
Ed Hunter/CBC

RCMP said they believe the driver of the tractor-trailer left the road and crashed into the man as he stood in his driveway.

Collision reconstruction analysts visited the scene and were investigating how the crash happened.

On Wednesday, RCMP Sgt. Jean-François Martel said he had no updates to provide on the investigation, adding it's a "long process" with many steps to be taken.

"It's too early to say … whether charges will be laid [against the driver]," Martel said. "We're waiting for some results there."

Crash highlights road safety concerns

Harvey grew up in Maugerville and said he's long considered Route 105 a dangerous road, including going back to when it served as the Trans-Canada Highway.

On one side of it, the shoulder drops down immediately to the banks of the St. John River in some parts. Homes, businesses and farmlands can be found along the other side, with some set farther back from the road than others.

Harvey said he's familiar with the spot where the crash happened and can think of about five other crashes that have happened there in the past 10 years.

While he acknowledged the police are still investigating the latest crash, Harvey said he's seen how a slight bend in that section of the road sometimes leads drivers to drift into the oncoming lane.

"Just a few metres upriver from where this accident happened there's no guardrail there," Harvey said.

"And you know, we should probably look into getting a guardrail put in there because that might be able to act as a guide for people heading down river to … give them something to hug to and stay in their lane and not cross over that centre line."

Mark Taylor, spokesperson for the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, said the department will be taking a look at the road in the wake of the crash to determine if anything can be done to make it safer.

"We're always focused on safety, so we're constantly looking at roadways across the province, and any changes we make to how a roadway will look, we communicate that to the public at the appropriate time," Taylor said.

"It's a very tragic situation and we're investigating what happened with our partners in [the Department of] Public Safety."

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