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Garbage truck crashes into Vernon yard

The garbage truck came to a halt in between these two homes around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.
January 22, 2014 - 2:53 PM

VERNON - A Vernon father is choosing to focus on the good news after an unmanned garbage truck came barreling down 40 Avenue into his yard. His wife and children weren’t hurt. The truck only grazed his house.

“It was really lucky,” Paul Dixon says.

Around 11:30 a.m. January 22, the truck was seen coasting down a steep portion of 40 Avenue while its driver was picking up someone’s garbage. On its descent, it struck Dixon’s rock wall on 15th Street, took out his fence and wedged itself in between his and his neighbour’s houses. All things considered, it couldn’t have found a better route.

Down the road, Terry Schaefer heard the crash from inside his home and rushed out to see what was going on.

“I was the first one on site,” Schaefer says. “I made sure no one was in the truck or underneath it.”

That’s when Dixon arrived home.

“I was kind of surprised because I saw my neighbours were out, and I was wasn’t sure why everyone was out on the street,” Dixon says. “As I came around the corner, I saw a garbage truck in my yard.”

His wife and three of their four young children were inside the house. Dixon was relieved to find they were alright. His kids were even excited. One has been bragging about the sturdy construction of the playhouse he helped his grandfather build. It was knocked over as the truck collided with it, but remains intact.

“The driver definitely looked like he was in shock, I would be too if I watched my truck fall down the hill,” Dixon says.

During warmer months, Dixons kids can often be found playing in a sandbox that was completely crushed in the crash.

“I’m continually grateful for how lucky we were,” Dixon says.

Included in the damages are toys, a cherished grapevine, a broken window. The neighbour’s house was also damaged. Their upper deck is ruined, and part of the home’s foundation broken off.

The incident has everyone wondering what went wrong, including the Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement agency, which is conducting an investigation. A mechanism failed, or the driver forgot to put the emergency break on, Dixon suspects. He’s just glad his family is ok. As for the yard? He was was planning on doing some landscaping anyways.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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