Early morning wake up call for Armstrong couple as semi careens into home

A semi smashed into a home on Hunter Road near Highway 97A in Armstrong, Thursday, July 20, 2017.


ARMSTRONG - Philip Marchand and his wife had a rude awakening this morning when a semi truck careened off the highway and smashed into their home.

It was 2 a.m. when the truck lost control after hitting a cow on Highway 97A and skimmed across the yard, just barely missing the corner bedroom where Marchand and his wife were fast asleep.

The massive rig came to a stop embedded in the back deck and roof of their Hunter Avenue home.

Marchand says the impact and noise woke him instantly.

“I wasn’t sure if lightning had struck or an earthquake,” he says. “Once we get out of bed, and kind of got a glimpse of what was outside your window, and you see a tanker truck right beside your window it wakes you up in a hurry.”

Now wide awake, Marchand rushed outside to assess the situation.

“I was smart enough to grab my robe,” he says.

There are heavy damages but no life-threatening injuries after the crash today, July 20, 2017.
There are heavy damages but no life-threatening injuries after the crash today, July 20, 2017.

Marchand was unable to get to the driver and phoned 911. He later learned the driver had already made his way out of the vehicle and gone back up to the highway. According to a media release from the RCMP, the driver was taken to hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries.

“Like I tell everyone, we never got hurt. It’s just a house, we have insurance for it. Thank goodness, he could have come right through the house too. We’re happy to be safe and sound and everybody’s alright,” Marchand says.

The home’s backyard borders Highway 97A just north of the Tim Hortons and Marchand says the crash brought fears they’ve had for a long time to life.

“We were always reassured by Highways it would never happen, and obviously it has happened,” Marchand says.

He says they previously asked the Ministry of Highways to consider installing a barrier but the ministry was reluctant to do so.

“It’s something I think should have to be addressed,” he says.

Crews remained on scene as of 2 p.m. attempting to pull the semi off the property. Until it is removed, the Marchands won't know the full extent of the damage hidden behind. 

The semi that crashed into the house in Armstrong was pulling a trailer.
The semi that crashed into the house in Armstrong was pulling a trailer.

Approximate location of home on Hunter Avenue.

— This story was updated at 2:47 p.m. Thursday, July 20, 2017 to add quotes from Philip Marchand. 

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