'Like I hit a brick wall': Part of Cabot Trail washed out on man as he drove over it

·2 min read
Davey Fraser estimates his vehicle fell at least 6 metres when a Cape Breton road washed out as he was driving over it. (Kayla Hounsell/CBC - image credit)
Davey Fraser estimates his vehicle fell at least 6 metres when a Cape Breton road washed out as he was driving over it. (Kayla Hounsell/CBC - image credit)

A Cape Breton man whose vehicle fell around six metres into a hole when part of the Cabot Trail washed out from underneath him Tuesday says he thought he was going to die.

Davey Fraser works for Parks Canada as a heavy equipment operator and truck driver. On Tuesday, he was just past the entrance to the Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Broad Cove where he was doing traffic control to prevent people from travelling on the road and was also checking for flooding.

Parts of the Cabot Trail, a 298-kilometre highway loop in northern Cape Breton, are now washed out and closed after heavy rain and winds blasted the province Tuesday.

With visibility poor from the pounding rain, Fraser drove slowly and said he saw some mud, which he believed to be runoff from the shoulder of the road.

"It was almost like I hit a brick wall, but I was down in the hole when I hit," said Fraser. "I didn't even feel the truck drop — I was just going and, 'Bang!'"

Eric Woolliscroft/CBC
Eric Woolliscroft/CBC

Fraser hopped out of the driver's side of the vehicle and estimates the drop was around two metres to the gushing water, mud and asphalt below.

"I said, 'I have to get out of here because this isn't going to stay,'" said Fraser, who managed to climb up to the road on broken asphalt.

From there, he phoned his supervisor. In the few minutes it took for the supervisor to arrive, the vehicle washed farther away.

Kayla Hounsell/CBC
Kayla Hounsell/CBC

He and his boss were met nearby by paramedics and taken to a paramedic station. Fraser said the paramedics thought he should get X-rayed, but there was no way to get him to hospitals in Baddeck or Sydney because of flooding and road washouts.

Fraser said his chest and ribs are sore and he figures he has a broken nose.

When he got home to Ingonish, he learned his rough day hadn't ended. Fraser's basement was flooding, his roof was leaking and his well had washed away.

Eric Woolliscroft/CBC
Eric Woolliscroft/CBC

The weather station nearest to Ingonish is in Ingonish Beach, which saw 263 millimetres of rain, said CBC meteorologist Ryan Snoddon.

Fraser said he plans to return to work Monday or Tuesday and chalks what happened up to being one of the duties of the job.

"It will stick in my mind for awhile," he said.

MORE TOP STORIES

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting