A Canadian documentary TV series that focuses on the hardships of vehicle recovery recently featured Revelstoke.
Highway Thru Hell follows the operations of towing companies on major B.C. highways, especially the Coquihalla Highway.
|John Kampman has been towing vehicles since 1995. (Screen shot)|
The Dec. 7 episode followed Columbia Towing Ltd.’s John Kampman – aka Big John – as he responds to a head-on crash on Highway 1, west of Revelstoke.
“We just did our job and tried not to look at the cameras,” said Kampman.
“No acting. Just do what we do.”
The collision was last March near Three Valley Gap between a semi and pick up truck, which forced Highway 1 to close as wreckage was strewn across the road. There were no fatalities.
Although Highway 1 through Revelstoke is infamous for crashes and deaths, this is the first time this section of road has been on Highway Thru Hell.
According to data from ICBC, in 2019 there were 10 deaths on Highway 1 between Sicamous and Golden.
“It’s one of the most treacherous drives in Canada,” he said.
“The roads are brutal during storms.”
Kampman has been towing vehicles since 1995.
|The head-on crash between a semi and pickup truck occurred last March. (Screen shot)|
He was referred by a friend, who knew the makers of the show, to be on the documentary series. A television crew came to Revelstoke this month to gather footage of Kampman to possibly use in the next season.
Kampman said the show is great for people to become more aware of the dangers on the highway and hopefully will become more cautious drivers.
Life as a tow truck driver is never dull, said Kampman. Every accident is different.
In October, Kampman responded to the incident at Shelter Bay ferry, where a woman had driven her Ford Fusion off the end of the loading ramp into the Upper Arrow Lake.
“You see some pretty crazy stuff,” said Kampman.
“I call it the Forest Gump syndrome. Towing is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you are going to get.”
Season 9 of Highway Thru Hell is currently being aired on the Discovery Channel and can also be found online. Kampman is featured on Episode Nine called Edge of Disaster.
The show debuted in 2012 and also runs in the U.S.
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