February 23, 2014 - 10:12 AM
VERNON - There was a sticky situation on Highway 97 over the weekend.
Shortly after 5 a.m. Sunday, a semi transporting a load of apple juice along with other cargo destined for a grocery store burst into flames just south of Crystal Waters Road.
RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk says the driver was on route from Kelowna to Calgary when he heard a loud bang and realized the rear tires were on fire. He attempted to douse the flames with a fire extinguisher but was unable to put it out.
North Okanagan traffic services along with the Lake Country Fire Department closed three of the four lanes on the highway as they tackled the fire. The trailer and cargo were completely destroyed and the scene was littered with spilled apple juice and other items. The tractor unit sustained major damage.
“The highway itself has been damaged as a result of the fire. I guess the fire was hot enough to damage the asphalt in that area,” Molendyk says.
Snowy road conditions turned especially slick with the combination of apple juice and water being used to put out the fire.
After two hours, and plenty of salt and sand, the highway reopened.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at firstname.lastname@example.org, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.
—This story was edited at 11 a.m. Feb. 24 to include more information from Vernon RCMP.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014