Sicamous resident remembers pre-’Frivolous Freeway’ fatal crash


Re: Malakwa Bridge crash claims life, closes Highway 1, News, April 13

How many fatalities does it take for the ministry of transportation to take action?

On Nov. 16, 1979 on the same bridge at Malakwa there was a fatal crash involving a westbound pickup truck and an eastbound transport. This was a few years prior  to the construction of the Frivolous Freeway through Malakwa thus the posted speed at the time was much lower than 100 km/h.

My husband and I were returning to our home in Revelstoke that late afternoon. It was a heavily overcast day and I was driving very cautiously because of the slushy road conditions.

We arrived just after the incident. The obviously traumatized drivers of several vehicles were gathered by the badly damaged pickup on the westbound shoulder. My husband’s immediate concern was for the driver, but after feeling for a pulse we realized he was dead. The eastbound truck’s trailer unit was twisted around the bridge abutment.

Does it make sense to come off a 100 km/h four-lane stretch onto a two-lane bridge? If the curious wonder how I recall so many details after 32 years it is thanks to the keeping of a journal. Perhaps the Ministry of Transport should do the same.

Alli M. Graham,