COMBERMERE – Mohammad Madjik was awake early last Tuesday. He was on his regular run from Ajax to Deep River, hauling 23,000 lbs of groceries.
There was a rainfall warning overnight for our region and the temperature was falling. Patchy fog hung near waterways and at times freezing rain fell.
At about 3:30 a.m., on the Combermere Road just north of Coghlan Lane, Madjik took a hard turn to the right. The road was fine there, he said later.
When he began his next left turn the tractor trailer did not respond to the steering wheel, glare ice covered the road.
Instead of turning, the truck went straight, crossed the crusty shoulder and the right-hand wheels dipped into the ditch, filled with water and snow, a few feet below the road surface. The tractor trailer rolled over onto the passenger side.
The truck’s forward motion was arrested by a raised driveway, causing considerable damage to the engine and passenger side of the cab.
Fortunately, Madjik was not physically injured. He was to have a very long workday though.
Darren McCulloch, who lives opposite the crash site, said he did not hear the accident, he slept through the whole incident. He later said that this is not the first time a truck has rolled over opposite his house. The last time, he could not be sure when, a lumber truck rolled over and took days to clear up.
When the fire department arrived on Tuesday at about 3:45 a.m., Fire Chief Corwin Quade said, that his crew had trouble standing on the roadway due the glare ice covering the surface.
“The conditions”, Quade said, “were wicked.”
Cartage Canada, the trucking company that Madjik worked for, sent out an incident response team from Ottawa. The roadway was marked with traffic cones and a tow trucking company with the gear necessary to right the truck was called.
OPP Constable Miller visited the scene to coordinate lane restrictions for the recovery operation.
Around noon two trucks arrived from Whitby, Ontario, from B&G Towing. Jerry Wright drove a 50 ton truck and Mitch Wright operated the 50/65 Rotator.
Mitch Wright said the 50/65 Rotator has a sliding rotator arm which can swivel 360 degrees.
At 20, Mitch said he is the youngest qualified operator of such a rig. He is the third generation in the towing business. B&G Towing was founded in 1964 and serves the 401/407 area.
The recovery crew examined the rolled over truck and discussed how best to attach straps and chains in preparation for righting the rig. Since the trailer was partly on the raised driveway, it was relatively simple to get straps under the vehicle.
Both tow trucks were used to right the tractor trailer in a process that ended around 4 p.m..
For more photos pick up a copy of the February 28, edition of Valley Gazette.