Still uncertainty about removal of vehicle from fatal crash

Cory Hurley cory.hurley@tc.tc
Published on June 14, 2014

The vehicle that plunged over a steep cliff on Route 460 in Campbells Creek remains in St. George’s Bay.

There was some questions as to whose responsibility it was to remove it, and/or pay for that. Sgt. Cathy Whitehead said the vehicle left in the water following the fatal crash was not needed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for any investigative purposes.

A fisherman’s boat and assistance by the Marine Institute Safety and Emergency Response Training Centre (SERT) and the Stephenville Emergency Response Unit’s search and rescue team was used to recover the 53-year-old man’s body.

A spokesperson for the Department of Environment and Conservation stated via email that the vehicle owner or his or her insurance would be responsible for removal of the vehicle, and any associated damages or cleanup costs. In an email,  the provincial department says the environmental risk is low, with fluids already dissipating.

“This is in an area which will have little impact to people and retrieving it would be very dangerous given its location at the bottom of a cliff,” the email stated. “However, we will continue to monitor the situation.”

If the vehicle was in a municipality, the town would take the lead to ensure compliance with respect to the wreckage, said the province.

If there was a hydrocarbon spill involved and in unincorporated areas, environmental protection officers with Service Newfoundland Labrador would normally take the lead to investigate and direct compliance actions.