Stan Coleman from Huu-ay-aht First Nations escaped serious injury but his car totalled when dust obscured his vision while driving on Bamfield Road, and he collided with the back of a logging truck. (PHOTO COURTESY STAN COLEMAN)

Vancouver Island First Nations urge caution driving Bamfield Road after serious crash

Dust obscured driver’s vision on logging road with destructive reputation

A recent serious accident on the Bamfield Main road offers a reminder to drivers that dust on logging roads during summer months create a serious safety concern. Huu-ay-aht First Nations wants to caution motorists to drive carefully if they head to Bamfield this summer.

Stan Coleman, a Registered Professional Forester and Huu-ay-aht’s forest consultant, hit a logging truck while travelling on Bamfield Main, escaping serious injury but totalling his car.

“Stan…is an experienced driver and has travelled the Bamfield road most of his career, and yet last week he hit a logging truck that was invisible to him on the dusty roads,” explains Chief Councillor Robert J. Dennis Sr. “Since the Bamfield road opened in the 70s, Huu-ay-aht has lost eight citizens on this road and witnessed countless accidents, many related to dust obscuring visibility.”

READ: Bamfield road safety concerns resurface after fatal bus crash

It has been nine months since the tragic University of Victoria bus accident claimed two lives along the 85-kilometre stretch of logging road, and Huu-ay-aht continues to push the B.C. government to get the road upgraded. The First Nation is calling for chipsealing to reduce dust and other safety improvements.

In April 2019, Premier John Horgan travelled the road to meet with Huu-ay-aht leadership and committed to safety upgrades.

READ: Huu-ay-aht ‘optimistic’ about Bamfield road upgrades

Last week, in a meeting with Huu-ay-aht, Mid Island-Pacific Rim MLA and Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, Scott Fraser, promised to continue to push for the necessary approvals to move the Bamfield Road improvement project forward. Until that time, Huu-ay-aht encourages people to drive cautiously and to respect road conditions.

Port Alberni RCMP Const. Peter Batt also urges people to keep their speed down, especially when conditions are dusty.

“You need time to stop at the last second with all this dust on the road,” he said. “If you are doing the trip in less than 90 minutes, you are driving too fast.”

He also reminds drivers that it is important to make sure your headlights and taillights are turned on so that people coming toward you and up behind you can see you are there.

Huu-ay-aht has committed $5 million to the Bamfield road improvement project and needs an additional $25.7 million to complete it. In addition to making the road safer for residents, workers and visitors, improving the road is an important step for the whole region and can be part of the economic recovery strategy for the Alberni Valley.

“Everyone supports and understands the need for this work to be done,” Dennis said. “We are hopeful that the province will approve this project soon so that we can improve safety and save lives.”

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional DistrictBamfieldRoad conditionsTransportation

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

DFO says the five aggrieved B.C First Nations were consulted on fisheries plan

Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations calls response ‘a sham,’ adding DFO never incorporates their views

Share your thoughts on proposed Quinsam Heights Official Community Plan changes

The City of Campbell River is seeking public feedback on a proposal… Continue reading

Three active COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island

Since July 24, Central island has had five new cases, North one, South none

Campbell River mural defaced by graffiti

The owner of a building on Westgate Road is upset that a… Continue reading

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

One dead as fish boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

Landlord takes front door, windows after single B.C. mom late with rent

Maple Ridge mom gets help from community generosity and government

42 more people test positive for COVID-19 in B.C.

The province has recorded no new deaths in recent days

Joe Biden selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate

Harris and Biden plan to deliver remarks Wednesday in Wilmington

Lawsuit launched after Florida child handcuffed, booked and briefly jailed

Suit alleges “deliberate indifference” to what should have been handled as a behavioural issue

Russia approves vaccine, Putin hopes to begin mass production

Critic calls decision to proceed without thorough testing ‘dangerous and grossly immoral’

Most Read