Identity of logging truck, driver still wanted after Hwy. 18 rock-toss tragedy

This GMC pickup truck was driven by Duncan
This GMC pickup truck was driven by Duncan's Gregory Thomas Howlett who died when the windshield was hit by a brick-size rock tossed by an oncoming logging truck along Highway 18 Wednesday.
— image credit: Lake Cowichan Gazette

Police are still searching for a logging truck and its driver involved in Wednesday's traffic death near Skutz Falls turnoff.

"I have no updates at this time on the identity of the logging-truck driver, or company involved," RCMP Cpl. Darren Lagan told the News Leader Pictorial Friday.

"South Island Traffic Services continues to work with industry contacts, Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement officers, as well as the Coroner Service on this task.

"Multiple logging trucks have been checked, and their drivers spoken to by our officers.  We have yet to confirm the identity of the driver involved."

That trucker likely didn't know a brick-size rock left his log-loaded, eastbound rig on Highway 18 around 9:30 a.m. Nov. 7.

The rock ricocheted off the road, and hit the windshield of a westbound pickup truck driven by Duncan's Gregory Thomas Howlett, 52.

He was seriously injured, and died later in Cowichan District Hospital.

Incredibly, his wife was able to gain control of their truck, and get it stopped without injury, Coroner Honey Forbes has stated.

Transport ministry staff were checking who, if anyone, is legally responsible for checking log loads and removing debris — such as rocks, bark and other stuff — that can be dangerous.

Anyone with information on this case is urged to contact the South Island Traffic Service at 250-416-0352, or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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