Cowichan News Leader

Stay back from local gravel trucks to avoid possible rock injury

Local mayors urge motorists to stay back from gravel trucks such as this one hauling fill to Lakes Road dike work, after residents reported rocks and other debris leaving the contracted rigs. - Peter W. Rusland
Local mayors urge motorists to stay back from gravel trucks such as this one hauling fill to Lakes Road dike work, after residents reported rocks and other debris leaving the contracted rigs.
— image credit: Peter W. Rusland

Stay back from gravel trucks — they may spit rocks at you.

Also, avoid Allenby and Boys roads where big rigs are hauling fill to dike work along Lakes Road.

That's the moral of the near injury ducked by a local driver who said a softball-size rock flew from the wheels of a blue JBC truck Thursday along Allenby.

"All I saw was this rock come bouncing down the road at me," Lara Stuart said. "It was like a rubber ball.

"It came from under the truck, from between the sets of wheels.

"It bounced five or six times and the last bounce sent it over to the bush on the river side," said the relieved motorist, well aware of a recent logging-truck rock-through-windshield tragedy on the Lake Cowichan Highway.

Thursday's stone joined a trail of other rocks and mud along Allenby and Boys, witnesses said, before the JBC trucks headed along the highway to Lakes dike work.

One witness saw debris clean-up happening along Allenby.

Dave Johel, of dike-contractors Johel Brothers Contracting, was unavailable for comment by press time Friday.

North Cowichan Mayor Jon Lefebure was concerned after hearing JBC rigs were loading fill on a rocky, muddy Qulshemut Road, off the reserve's Indian Road, tarping the load, then hauling it along publicly used roads, some on Cowichan Tribes territory.

"It's my first time hearing about this," he said of Thursday's rock-tossing.

"My first thought is that every modern dump truck I've seen has a screen over the top as a safety precaution to keep stuff from flying off.

"I'll have to direct this to our engineering department. I'm sure they're (JBC) following the rules."

Engineer John Mackay, and the RCMP, were unavailable for comment by press time.

"In any case, you're well advised to stay back from large trucks," said Lefebure.

"With those big tires, they could pick something up, and it could come off."

North Cowichan is leading the multi-million-dollar diking project — along Lakes and Tzouhalem roads — being shared with the City of Duncan.

City mayor Phil Kent said Friday he'd had no complaints of rogue rocks, mud and other diking debris, but offered similar advice as Lefebure.

"Don't follow gravel trucks very closely."

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