Truck driver recalls harrowing trek across Canso Causeway
Heavy rain, high winds and snow wreaked havoc on Maritime roadways Wednesday, causing one tractor-trailer to flip over the Canso Causeway.
The whole thing was caught on tape by a motorist travelling behind the truck.
Ron Spencer was behind the wheel of the truck and his wife Nancy was in the passenger seat when the vehicle was blown over by strong winds.
“I approached the bridge here, taking my time coming across. I was watching the waves break over the road here, keeping my eye on the other trucks, seeing how bad they were being shook around,” describes Spencer.
“They came across pretty good so I kept on coming, came around this turn right up here and just as I was coming over the turn, I felt the trailer lift. My wife, who was with me, she says ‘this is going to be bad.’ I just looked over and said ‘you hang on. There’s nothing we can do about it.’ So we lost it right here. Picked it up and slipped a few feet and came to a stop. A couple of guys came over and asked if we were OK and we climbed out of it.”
Despite the slippery situation, Nancy Spencer says she wasn’t scared or shaken.
“I just said to my husband ‘this doesn’t look good.’ That’s when the wind caught us and took it over. I just hung onto the door and hoped for the best.”
The Canso Causeway connects mainland Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island. Traffic was reduced to one lane for several hours, until the overturned 18-wheeler was removed by a crane late Wednesday.
Spencer says he has experienced similar conditions while travelling through Newfoundland, but never on the Canso Causeway.
“I get big wind over in Newfoundland, especially around the Wreckhouse area, that will push and shove you all over the road,” he says. “This was the heaviest wind I got hit with yet.”
His wife says she is just happy no one was hurt.
“More anxious of getting out of the truck because of the traffic and you never know, another truck could have been coming and it could have been blown over too,” she says.
“There’s nothing I could do from stopping it from going,” says Spencer. “I did everythingI could do. No time to get scared. It just happens. You just think about safety of everyone else around you. I did the best I could do and come out of it alive.”
The couple wants to thank two men who helped them to get out of the truck, and one RCMP officer that stayed with them through the ordeal.
Spencer says he will be off from work for a few days until some of his soreness goes away.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kyle Moore