A longshoreman says the road where his coworker died is dark and dangerous, and it needs to be made safer before more people die.
Johnny Levy was a friend of Surrey’s Steve Mallhi, who was killed in an apparent head-on collision with a semi on Wednesday (March 29) at approximately 2:40 a.m. on Deltaport Way.
“The Ministry (of Transportation and Infrastructure) would like to tell us there’s nothing wrong with that road, but there is something wrong with that road because dozens of people have been hurt or killed on that road,” said Johnny Levy.
Delta Police say this is the third fatality on the road since November, 2008.
“I drove down that road two hours before he died. I could barely see. I drive a big Dodge Ram, I had to slow down because of the water, wind and rain, you couldn’t see ” said Levy. “I woke up the next day and a guy four years younger than me, with children, had died. It made me weep.”
Levy estimated more than 3,000 semitrucks a day drive along Deltaport Way. Plus all of his coworkers.
“That road is a major artery and probably 50 per cent of Canadian important or exports go through the road,” said Levy. “If you look at that road, the shoulder lines, they’re soft shoulders. (The government) could put a passing lane or truck lane from Highway 17 to the new parking area they want to build.
“They could also put a truck lane or a passing lane,” he continued. “There is a dotted yellow line out there but it’s a long dark stretch. While the ministry has said there’s lights where there needs to be, it’s absolutely black out there. There’s no reflectors in the centre lanes, you can barely sees the lines.”
The night Mallhi died, there was record-breaking rain, noted Levy.
“Yes. The weather sucks. Truck drivers cross lines. People drive fast. Yes. But that road needs to be addressed,” he stressed. “This isn’t the first brother we’ve lost and unfortunately it’s not going to be the last.”
Levy has started GoFundMe page for Mallhi’s family that has raised more than $65,000 so far.
“If my kids’ mom was to have to wake up to a phone call about me not being there anymore, what would happen to my kids? What would happen to my family?” said Levy. “He’s just one of those people that deserved to live a long and happy and fruitful life. He reached out and welcomed people and tried to make a difference.”
Click here to see the donation page.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure provided this statement via email:
“First and foremost, this was a tragic loss for the family and the community, and our hearts go out to the family and friends of the victim of the crash. This crash is currently under investigation by the police. Ministry staff will be working closely with Delta Police as appropriate to support this investigation.
“At the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, our top priority is safety on our infrastructure, across the province. There is lighting at all of the key interchanges/intersections on Deltaport Way. The ministry also has plans to add road pavement markings (reflectors) along Deltaport Way this spring.
“All line paint used on our roads and highways meets the highest standards for durability and safety. Road paint does wear especially during the winter months and we are working to find new paint technology that is even more durable and provides even more visibility throughout the year and varying weather conditions.
“Deltaport Way is a key corridor, and we are engaging with stakeholders through our South of the Fraser Engagement sessions for future upgrades for this route. Deltaport Way has been identified within our long term planning priorities, to eventually 4-lane the corridor, increasing safety, capacity and efficiency.”