REVELSTOKE — A Falkland, B.C. man was identified as the victim of a fiery crash of the Trans-Canada Highway east of Revelstoke on Monday, Mar. 13.
Stephen Babij, 51, was killed in the crash 50 kilometres east of Revelstoke on Mar. 13 at around 9 a.m. His dog Zak also died.
In a news release, RCMP Cpl. Mike Wasylenki of Trans-Canada East Traffic Services said a semi-trailer truck that was headed westbound lost control and crossed the centre line and crashed head-on into Babij’s eastbound semi-trailer truck.
Babij died as a result, while the driver and passenger in the westbound semi-trailer truck were seriously injured.
A third semi-trailer truck that was headed eastbound collided with the crash scene. There was also an SUV involved in the crash, sustaining front-end damage. The drivers of both of those vehicles had minor injuries, police said.
It was a stormy day, with rain in Revelstoke and snow in the mountain passes. DriveBC reported slushy and slippery conditions along the road.
The crash closed the highway between Revelstoke and Golden for more than eight hours.
Nathan Hayhurst was stuck on the highway, metres from the crash scene. He was headed westbound on Highway 1 between Golden and Revelstoke when he came across the violent accident scene, about 50 kilometres east of Revelstoke.
“The first indication that I saw was the plume of smoke,” said Hayhurst, who is a semi-trailer truck driver with 20 years of experience and two-million incident-free kilometres under his belt.
“The scene [was] somber. There was a bunch of us up there seeing what we could do and it was somber. It is sad. It makes you sad and it makes you mad. It is horrifying.”
An obituary says Babij was an experienced driver who hauled hay and other goods throughout Alberta, B.C. and Washington.
With reporting from Carmen Weld and the Vernon Morning Star.