Charlie Fox calls for action on deadly road

Township councillor wants traffic calming options installed along treacherous 16 Avenue, which claimed two more lives last week

Something has to be done about 16 Avenue, a busy and deadly stretch of road that claimed the lives of a married couple on Thursday, said Township Councillor Charlie Fox.

Even before the tragic crash had occurred, Fox had tabled a motion asking for traffic calming options like roundabouts to be considered for the busy route. He believes the opening of the new Port Mann Bridge will drive even more gravel trucks onto 16 Avenue. The motion was expected to be discussed at Monday’s council meeting.

The couple from Surrey, both 76, died after a head-on collision between a Jeep Cherokee and a gravel truck on 16 Avenue on Thursday afternoon.

The two killed were inside the Jeep and police are saying the driver tried to pass another vehicle and crossed the centre line before crashing into the oncoming gravel truck.

The head-on collision occurred just after 12:30 p.m., said Langley RCMP Cpl. Holly Marks. The initial investigation indicates the driver of the Jeep tried to pass another vehicle across a double solid line heading west, crossing into the path of the eastbound gravel truck between 200 and 208 Streets.

That section of 16 Avenue was closed for at least five hours as police investigated, said Marks. Police are hoping to speak to a driver of a smaller green car, possibly a Toyota Corolla.

That driver was westbound on 16 Avenue at the time of the crash.

Langley RCMP Victims Services was on scene to support witnesses and the driver of the gravel truck.

The truck driver suffered minor injuries in the crash.

For the past few months, numerous residents of 16 Avenue and surrounding areas have been calling for safety measures for the dangerous stretch of road that is the main route for all gravel trucks coming from Abbotsford into Langley and Surrey.

Once speed humps were put on Zero Avenue, virtually all trucks opted for 16 Avenue.

Residents have been calling for more speed enforcement for the gravel trucks and for the Township to create better safety measures like roundabouts at key intersections.

Police said the lack of shoulders on 16 Avenue make it too dangerous for them to pull anyone over if they did a speed trap.

There have been numerous dump truck rollovers along 16 Avenue in the past couple of months. Some are calling for the road, which is run by TransLink, to be widened.

Silas O’Brien was killed on 16 Avenue in March 2008 when the pickup truck he was riding in was run off the road and into a ditch in a road rage incident.

In January 2010, Jim Neis, a 59-year-old school bus driver was killed by a dump truck that crossed the centre line on 16 Avenue. The speed limit along the road is 60 km/hr.

Langley Times

Pop-up banner image