Update at 11:50 AM, Friday Aug 28: The road is now open. They were able to clear the accident and equipment quicker than expected. Please continue to read the original report and important background information below.
The Logging Road that we all use to access Malachi will be CLOSED Friday August 28th between 12 Noon and 5 PM. These times are approximate. It could be earlier and /or much later.
Thursday morning just before 10 AM at 16.4 km west of the Minaki Highway there was an “OCCURRENCE” and extraction from the ditch of a semi, and it’s trailer and load will be time consuming.
This accident is located between the Dragimabrop Lake Corner and the Malachi Lake Corner. A long wheel base semi tractor pulling a triple axle low boy loaded with a large bucket payloader was travelling west going up a slight incline approaching a corner and had to take evasive action. Coming around the corner heading east was a vehicle in a four wheel drift on the center of the road driving way too fast. The semi was as far to his right as he could possibly be and ended up in the ditch with the back end of the low boy hung up on the edge of the road.
It is very close to a roll over with the semi tractor at approximately a 30 degree angle. The only thing that prevented the roll over was a very good experienced professional driver and the weight of the load on the trailer.
The offending vehicle, as reported by the semi driver, is a dark grey or dust covered black mid size SUV. He was unable to get the plate number or a description of the driver as he was preoccupied saving his truck, trailer and load as well as his life. I came upon the scene at 10 am as I was east bound on my way to Kenora. I can confirm the driver’s description of the vehicle that caused this accident. As I was leaving the parking area by the south docks at the landing that vehicle went by me driving way too fast for a parking lot. The driver was a male.
This accident was caused by a person from Malachi and I can only guess at the repercussions now that the Ontario Provincial Police are involved.
PLEASE REMEMBER — SLOW DOWN
Maximum speed on the logging road is 50 km/hr,
The road was signed at the Pickeral Lake/Minaki Highway last fall. As well this summer more signs were put up and one is at the Pickeral Lake/ Minaki Highway corner and another is at the Malachi Lake / White Lake corner. During the AGM in May we were all warned that they would be running this summer, fall and into the winter. All indications are that they will be logging west of Malachi next spring and summer, therefore, the logging trucks will be on the road for the next year and possibly longer. At present there are five to six trucks per day, they run during daylight hours Monday to Friday. This number is going to increase to ten to fifteen trucks per day in the very near future. Keep in mind that we are fortunate to be allowed to access Malachi by using these roads which are in fact “Logging Roads”. Yes we have spent a great deal of money on maintenance and upgrades but the other parties that are involved in the logging have as well. Technically these roads are “their” roads.
There are very few rules to keep in mind when on a Logging Road and it is the LAW.
1. LOGGING TRUCKS HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY.
- Be overly cautious on the narrow sections and when approaching the hills.
- Smaller vehicles MUST give way to logging trucks.
2. THE MAXIMUM SPEED IS 50 KM/HR FOR LOGGING TRUCKS AND ALL OTHER VEHICLES USING LOGGING ROADS.
- Log truck drivers are paid by the hour not by the load, therefore, there is no advantage for them to exceed
the speed limit.
- They are large and long and do appear to be traveling fast, but that is our perception due to their size.
3. TRAVEL ON THE RIGHT HAND SIDE OF THE ROAD AT ALL TIMES – ESPECIALLY WHEN GOING UP HILLS.
Improved graveling, ditching and site lines have drastically increased the vehicle speed on the road over the last year. There have been many “occurrences” on the road this past year that have been described as “near misses” and all have been attributed to driving too fast and driving on the wrong side of the road. Luckily, there have been no wrecks so far, but there have been a couple of ditchings in addition to today’s event. One bad accident could jeopardize our access to Malachi.
Working with all the stake holders for the road over the last few years has been gratifying, especially when we were able to acheive the excellent conditions that now exist.
Missuun Integrated Resource Management manages all access to the forestry area of north western Ontario after the end of the provincial road system. This mandate includes logging roads, culverts, bridges and water flow affecting the access to the logging areas.
This portion of their responsibilities and their monetary involvement has been a tremendous help to all Malachites allowing us to achieve what I consider to be great access to our lake. Long gone are the days when you could only get to the landing if you drove a 4×4 truck.
However, at one of our meetings this spring we all expressed our concerns that improvements would create higher road speeds and the potential for accidents would increase.
I suspect that if accidents continue to occur the road could potentially be closed to all traffic when the log trucks are hauling. A great number of logging roads in Alberta and British Columbia are managed in this fashion.