brandywine accident 

Truck driver killed in Brandywine-area accident By Andy Stonehouse A highway accident which claimed the life of a Surrey truck driver snarled traffic on Highway 99 for hours on Tuesday, indirectly causing several other minor collisions and vehicle incidents. Whistler RCMP say Satnam Singh Manhas, 36, was killed when his five-tonne flatbed truck collided with a larger semi-trailer at the Brandywine railway crossing, south of Whistler. Staff Sgt. Frank Shedden said a tractor-trailer unit was heading southbound on the highway when it crossed over the centreline and its trailer overturned. Manhas was driving north and crashed into the trailer. The driver of the larger vehicle was taken to the Whistler Health Care Centre and treated for minor injuries. He was later released. The crash occurred at about 9 a.m. Aug. 4 and left drivers backed up for kilometres in each direction. Officers from the Whistler detachment and the Squamish Highway Patrol were quickly on the scene and were able to allow alternating single-lane traffic to help ease the congestion. Shedden said the RCMP's staff traffic analyst also examined the accident site and will work to reconstruct the accident. The provincial motor transport division has also been asked to participate in the investigation. A Whistler fire crew was also called out to the area after a vehicle idling in line behind the crash caught on fire. No injuries were reported and damage was minor. As emergency crews worked to clear the crash site, motorists anxious to get home after the weekend may have also contributed to a second accident, just a few kilometres from the railway incident. Shedden said two or three cars were involved and damage appeared to be minor. He attributes the spin-off crash to impatience. "We were having a lot of trouble just trying to use our cell phones after the accident," Shedden said. "The airtime was completely clogged... there must have been 2,000 people all phoning and saying they'd be late." Lines at the Whistler RCMP detachment were also ringing off the hook all morning and afternoon as word spread of the accident. Traffic was able to move smoothly by mid-afternoon, although highway travel was delayed again in the evening when another driver apparently clipped a coyote trying to cross the road and crashed into a rock wall. Minor injuries and minor damages were reported. Shedden said the railway crossing was also the site of a fatal accident in 1997, but added the area does provide plenty of warning signs to drivers before they hit the tricky crossing. He said the sudden spree of accidents is partially coincidental. "It's the luck of the draw," he said. "We've been really fortunate this year... there's not been a high number of accidents, and we're actually down for the year total."

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