A semi crashed about 10:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 22 on Highway 97A beside a blueberry farm just half a kilometre from the spot where two semis went off the road in December last year. - Image credit: Photo contributed.

Update: Another semi hits the ditch

The owner of property spanning Highway 97A near Mara is done with having to repair her fence.

Update: Just three days after a story with Mara resident Deedee Jones was published online regarding her frustration with vehicles on Highway 97A speeding and ending up crashing into her fence, another vehicle slid off the road.

Today Jones sent a photo of a semi lying on its side near a blueberry farm about a half kilometre from where two semis went off the road last month. This most recent crash took place about 10:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 22.

Original story

Deedee Jones is fed up with her fence being dismantled.

Jones’ family, the Kirshfelts, have lived on 320 acres that span both sides of Highway 97A for close to 95 years.

The property, at #53 Riverside Rd., just down from the Mara Foodliner, is on a corner of the road where drivers routinely speed and run off the road, she says.

“It happens all the time, winter and summer, it doesn’t matter – people are speeding. It’s my pet peeve, I just want them to slow down on the corner. They have accidents on the bluff corner (about a kilometre southwest) too.”

One day last month during the snow, two semis ended up wrecked at her family’s property within a few hours of each other.

Related link: Flipped semis slow traffic

The first crash took place about 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 20. That one might have landed on their neighbours’ side of the property line, she thinks, but she took a picture of the wrecked trailer sitting by her mailbox in the morning.

“It had been full of fresh chicken – they emptied it.”

The second one, probably about 9 a.m., wrecked their fence but they didn’t know about it until later as it occurred away from their house.

On average, she says, the fence gets hit two or three times a year.

“Somebody is going to get killed and I don’t want somebody dying on my turf.”

Another fear is that fuel from one of the crashes will get into the fields and ditches, ruining farmland.

One memorable event in May of 2016 was “the Toyota truck that flew into the trees – it sheered off two popular trees.”

Adding insult to injury, the driver, who had stolen the Toyota from Ashton Creek, managed to crawl out of the wreckage and steal her truck.

She’s spoken to a tow truck company that reports coming to the same spot for about 40 years.

A large black and orange decal warning drivers might help, she says, because drivers seem to ignore the ‘slow’ sign.

Adding to the frustration, Jones’ experience with ICBC has been less than stellar, with the information she’s been asked to provide varying according to who she is talking to at ICBC.

“Who knows, we might just decide to take the whole damn thing out and forget about it. Let them go in the ditch. If you have a fence, you keep it a fence. It looks tacky all broken…”

She says she has been asked to get three quotes for a fence repair.

“Give me a break. I can’t even get one guy to come out, why would they?”

However, ICBC spokesperson Lindsay Olsen says leeway would be given regarding quotes in rural areas.

“Generally speaking, we make an exception if they can’t get access to different quotes.”

Following Olsen’s assurance, Jones received a letter from ICBC with an update.

“They don’t cover property damage. We are advised to go through home insurance. A one thousand dollar deductible for a $300 to $500 fix. Looks like the fence will come down. Better signage on the highway seems to be the only answer.”


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

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A semi lies on its side close to the ditch after failing to avoid a corner on Highway 97A last month. Crashes like this mean ongoing fence repairs for a Mara property owner. Image credit: Photo contributed

Trucks park above the spot where a semi drove out of control off Highway 97A last month. Owner of the property spanning the highway wants to see drivers of vehicles of all types slow down. Image credit: Photo contributed

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