Block of ice falls from tractor-trailer on Highway 102, crashes onto truck windshield
GLENHOLME - Glenholme businessman Eric Millen is angry and frustrated at the response from a transport trucking company he feels owes him a pickup-truck windshield.
Early Thursday morning a friend was driving his company truck home on Highway 102 with a passenger onboard after making a delivery in Halifax, when a large block of ice blew off the top of a tractor-trailer, exploding the vehicle's windshield.
"They saw the ice coming at them and didn't know what was going on," said Millen. "It was terrible. Bits of glass came flying back off the inside of the windshield all over them."
He is thankful his friend was not seriously injured or killed by the dangerous projectile that launched from the top of the trailer as he attempted to pass.
"If that had hit a small car they would have been there picking them up in a body bag," said Millen.
With only a small area of the glass remaining intact, his friend followed the transport truck flagging the driver down to exchange insurance and contact information.
He said the semi-truck's driver gave his friend the head office number of Armour Transport Inc., the same company identified by decals on the truck.
As soon as his friend returned home, Millen called the transport company to arrange for repairs but said a company official told him they were not responsible for the damage and suggested he call his own insurance company to submit a claim.
"It was an unsecured load," said Millen. "It's just not right that they ignore something like this because they say it happens all the time."
The estimated cost to have a replacement windshield installed and to have the shards of glass cleaned from inside the vehicle is about $500. Millen needed the truck to meet his scheduled custom hauling demands, so he paid for the repairs and cleaned the truck interior himself rather than put a claim through insurance that required a $250 deductible.
He said he's not giving up and wants to be compensated for his loss.
Steve Smith, spokesman for Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, said all vehicles are responsible for their loads and that includes cleaning off any obstacles such as snow and ice build up.
"Most companies are pretty good at keeping their vehicles cleaned off and most of the larger companies have setups at their bases that remove snow off their vehicles," said Smith.
Failure to secure a load could result in a fine of $250.
An RCMP official said during the winter people sometimes take unnecessary risks by not properly cleaning snow and ice from their vehicles.
Drivers who do not clear all the windows of their vehicles of obstructions or debris can be fined $164.50.
The law also requires all lights, doors and windows to be clear and the vehicle must have operating wipers and heater.