The provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is awaiting the completion of the RCMP investigation into the tragic April 28 collision involving an out-of-control chip truck that killed a New Denver father.
In the meantime, friends and neighbors are rallying behind a young family left behind a heroic young father.
Randy Duncan was killed when the F-350 truck he was driving was apparently struck by the tail end of a tractor-trailer rig loaded with wood chips after its driver lost control on the Monashee summit.
At the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, spokesman Jeff Knight said the ministry is always looking for ways to protect and improve safety.
“We are awaiting the final results of the RCMP investigation into the cause of the crash, as this will help us determine what we may need to review,” Knight said.
“The ministry works closely with the police whenever there is a crash. Signing, advisory signing, sightlines are examples of what the ministry may investigate after a crash, depending on the results of a police investigation into the cause of a crash,” he said.
A fundraiser is set for May 20 to help his fiancée, Meagan Olson, and their daughter Kayleigh.
The event set for May 20 at Three Lions will feature blues guitarist Davis Gogo and his band.
There will be a silent auction, a 50-50 draw and cover by donation, as well as a designated driver service for a $5 donation.
Donations are needed for the silent auction. A number of prizes have been donated already – including a lumber, a weed wacker, gift certificates from stores around the area — and a logging truck loaded with wood.
Volunteers will be need to work the door and to help set up the silent auction.
Jess Godtmark is a friend of Olson’s. The response to the fundraiser has been strong so far, she said.
“I think everyone is being just amazing,” she said.
Olson, a Nakusp resident and a 2008 graduate of Nakusp High School, was also a friend of Meadow Fryer, who is working on the fundraiser.
Fryer recalls Randy Duncan as the hero his family remembers.
“He’d always been a really giving person — he would do anything for anybody. He’d always been a go-to kind of guy,” she said.
“He was always very supportive of Meagan being at home raising their little girl, and he was very, very proud to show his little girl off.
“As soon as you said anything about Kayleigh, his whole face would light up.
“We are just wanting to raise funds for Meagan so that she is able to look after her little girl and not worry about financial difficulties,” Fryer said.
“We’re just showing her support, that everyone is there for her. We are a community that when someone is in need like this, we are able to work together for each other.”
Duncan is recalled as a hero because he insisted on belting the baby’s car seat in behind Olson’s seat that morning, concerned for possible bad road conditions on the Monashee.
Fryer said the accident has renewed concerns about the safety of the big haulers.
“I think chip trucks should be off our roads here — the roads are so narrow and windy — they should barge this stuff or use trains or something,” she said.
“They’re on a tight time frame, and they want to get from Point A to Point B as fast as they can,” Fryer said.
For Godtmark, the accident was a reminder to put safety first on the road.
“It’s so easy for something to happen and it not even be your fault,” Godtmark said.
“It’s going to change the way I drive, it’s going to change everything.”