SURREY (NEWS1130) – There’s some good news for drivers whose vehicles were hit by falling ice on the Port Mann Bridge or were stuck trying to get across the span yesterday afternoon.
Mike Proudfoot, the CEO of TI Corp, the company that runs the bridge, tells us they will cover the damage costs. “We’ve been working with ICBC; they will be processing the claims and the people who were affected by the falling ice will be relieved of having to pay their deductibles.”
“The process will be that they get their car fixed and then go through the claims process with TI Corp. We now have dedicated resources in place to deal with the customer service on that.”
He confirms drivers will not have to pay for tolls during yesterday’s chaos. “The incident began around 10 a.m. and we will be waiving tolls for all bridge users from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. when the bridge re-opened.”
“That will all from our TReO office and the accounts will be processed accordingly; those charges will not be incurred,” he adds.
Dozens of people have called ICBC, filing “ice bomb” claims; Karl is one of them. He’s happy to hear that his deductible will be taken care of, but he’s had no reassurance that this won’t happen again, should the snow make another appearance.
As for his car, it was pretty wrecked. “The estimators were looking at it yesterday when I left; I dropped the car off quickly so I could leave it with them.”
Karl says he’s lucky he can borrow his wife’s car because he figures others who do not want to shell out for a rental car will have trouble getting around over the holidays.
“It wasn’t covered because this is a comprehensive deal and not an accident. It means I would be paying out of my own pocket.”
Adam Grossman with ICBC says they typically see a lot more crashes between November and January, but he didn’t imagine that just a couple of weeks after opening, people would be calling in with claims of chunks of ice falling from the new crossing.
He admits no matter what a driver does, it’s hard to be prepared for a situation like that. “Maybe we don’t prepare ourselves personally to drive differently, or we don’t prepare our vehicles adequately for the weather… but even if we do those things, the fact is that the road conditions can be very challenging. Visibility can be really tough.”
Given our hit-and-miss weather on the South Coast, Grossman is pleading with people to be extra careful out there.
A review is now underway, looking at ways to prevent similar incidents in the future.