Three people hospitalized in crash

Harry Sullivan
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TRURO - A tollbooth worker air-lifted to hospital in Halifax following a collision at the Cobequid Pass is a Bass River resident and well-known figure in Truro sports circles.
Though his identity has not officially been released, sources say he is Stuart Mills, who serves as vice-president of Truro Minor Lacrosse. He was nominated in February for a Truro Sport Heritage Society award.
Mills was collecting tolls at the Pass shortly after 11 a.m., Monday when a five-tonne truck slammed into the booth he was working in.
The truck driver and an on-site construction worker were transported by ambulance to Colchester Regional Hospital in Truro with non-life threatening injuries.
It is believed the worker, who was involved with construction on the eastbound centre lane, was struck with flying debris from the collision.
A witness said the truck took out half a dozen concrete traffic barriers before shearing off the side of the building attached to the booth.
Steve Sharratt, an off-duty reporter with the Charlottetown Guardian, said the commissionaire was trapped for about 40 minutes until he was extracted by emergency crews and flown off in a Medi-Vac helicopter.
Standing beside the gruesome aftermath of twisted metal and shattered concrete, investigating RCMP officer Sharon Sisson said the commissionaire "was talking when he left the scene" and the situation could easily have been much worse.
"Luckily, the commissionaire manning the booth was able to warn the car at the booth to move out of the way or there probably would've been more injuries," she said.
That car, carrying two female passengers from P.E.I. (story on Page 11) was damaged in the collision but its occupants were unhurt.
Another vehicle, occupied by a New Brunswick couple en route to Annapolis Royal, received collateral damage. The couple, who did not wish to be identified, were uninjured.
The identity of the truck driver was unavailable at press time, but lettering on the side of the truck identified it as being from Powa Express Trucking of Shellville, Ga.
Doreen Pippy, a passenger in the car that was stopped in the tollbooth when the truck came crashing in, said she spoke with the driver after the incident and though he offered his apologies, he could not explain what happened.
Pippy told CTV News she believed the driver had fallen asleep.
Sisson said she was waiting to speak with the truck driver for his version of events.
"It's still under investigation," she said.
"We'll have to talk to the driver and get from him what happened."
The accident brought traffic to a standstill in the eastbound lanes for more than an hour before one lane was reopened to traffic.
After that, motorists in both directions were waved through without having to pay a toll while cleanup crews continued to remove debris from the site.
By late afternoon, however, eastbound traffic was rerouted at Exit 7 through Wentworth until a structural engineer could examine the canopy at the toll plaza.

Organizations: Truro Sport Heritage Society, Colchester Regional Hospital, RCMP Annapolis Royal CTV News

Geographic location: TRURO, Halifax, Bass River New Brunswick

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Recent comments

  • Shawee
    January 18, 2010 - 11:17

    ET, I think that is the best post I have ever seen on this comments section in my short time on this newspaper site. It is nice to see someone finally make some sense!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Rick
    January 18, 2010 - 11:05

    The only responsibility the government has in this crash is having the traffic stop at a toll booth on the trans-canada hwy in the first place. It should have been bought back witht the 100,000,000 dollar off shore comp. fund from the feds earlier this year. Other than that the MLA's need to stop spending our tax money on highways in other parts of the province that will be free for all to travel on while we are stuck with an $8 and rising toll just to get to Truro & back.

  • Jack on the rocks
    January 18, 2010 - 11:00

    Come on people,isn't there some way the government can be blamed for the conditions on the pass today?????Let me guess,the sign didn't say Sunny Conditions.Luckily no one killed.

  • Entertainment
    January 18, 2010 - 10:35

    Someone should contact the producers at CBS and suggest they hold the next Survivor on the Cobequid Pass. It's ideal! Think of it, you strand 20 people up there to deal with snowstorms, dodging jack-knifing tractor trailers, runaway 5-tonne trucks, no houses or civilization for miles and miles. All that's needed is for someone to figure out how to have the women appear in bikinis without freezing, and I think you would have a ratings winner right there. Plus, that Hatch guy would have to keep his clothes on because it's cold up in them thar mountains. The generated advertising dollars could be used to offset the price of the tolls.
    Someone get the Premier and Jeff Probst together on a conference call right now!

  • Entertainment
    January 18, 2010 - 10:29

    Thank you, Shawee. My first duty is to inform, but after that, I try to keep people entertained. Just wait til you see what TV series I have penciled in to take place at the YMCA!

  • me not you
    January 18, 2010 - 10:28

    sound like someone didn't want to pay the toll