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Charges laid in Goldstream gas tanker crash

Emergency response crews deal with a gas tanker crash near Goldstream Park in April. -
Emergency response crews deal with a gas tanker crash near Goldstream Park in April.
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Impaired- and dangerous-driving charges have been filed by the Crown against the driver of a Columbia Fuels tanker that flipped then fouled fish-bearing Goldstream River in April, court officials say.

James Smith, 34, of Nanaimo is booked for his first appearance before a justice of the peace to answer three charges, laid under the Canadian Criminal Code, in Colwood’s Western Communities Courthouse Nov. 24 at 9 a.m., staff said.

Count one against Smith involves care and control of a vehicle while impaired.

Count two concerns care and control of a vehicle while driving with a blood-alcohol level of more than .08.

The third count involves dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

The April 16 crash saw about 42,000 litres of gasoline, plus some 700 litres of diesel fuel, enter the river.

The wreck, and initial fuel clean up, caused traffic gridlock affecting hundreds of Cowichan travellers.

Investigators, including Naives, are still studying short- and long-term damage to Goldstream’s fragile salmon run.

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