And This, Ladies And Gentlemen
Is why there has been a law against riding the back of an open box pick up truck in British Columbia for almost longer than I can remember. (although I do remember riding in the back as a child).
Cowichan tubing trip turns to tragedy. Man thrown from pickup truck; efforts to revive him fail.
Carolyn Heiman, Times Colonist Published: Friday, July 06, 2007
The joyous summer tradition of tubing down the Cowichan River turned tragic Wednesday evening when a 26-year-old Duncan man died after being tossed from the back of a pickup truck on a tubing trip.
Efforts to revive Eric John Blasko on the side of Riverbottom Road failed. He was taken to Cowichan District Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Blasko's mother Caryn was unable to talk at length to the media yesterday, but urged others to be careful and never to ride in the back of a pickup truck. "Please don't do it."
Blasko said she feels for the young man who was driving. "I wouldn't want anyone to have to live with this."
Lake Cowichan RCMP Const. Brian Brown said Blasko was one of four young men in the truck heading west along the gravel Riverbottom Road, back to Skutz Falls.
Two men were in the truck's cab while Blasko and his brother were sitting on four large tire tubes, boxes and coolers in the back.
As they approached an oncoming vehicle, "the driver dodged to the right -- not anything drastic -- but just a bit because they were passing, and then back again. That motion was enough for Mr. Brasko to tumble out of the box."
Speed was not a factor in the accident, Brown said.
The passengers started first aid immediately, and emergency vehicles were soon on the scene, arriving around 7:50 p.m., although they failed to revive the young man.
The driver of the truck was taken into custody and released. Police are recommending that he be charged with impaired driving and impaired driving causing death. He's due appear in court in Duncan Sept. 4.
Brown said every summer, police see passengers in the backs of pickup trucks. "When we do, we pull them over and give them a ticket, or at the very least get them out of the back of the truck."
In recent years, Brown has observed a dangerous practice where kids "surf" on the tops of vehicles along logging roads.
"They'll get up on the hood or roof. It's a big gas or fun for them."
In 28 years as a police officer, Brown said, he's attended three fatalities involving young people riding in the backs of a pickup truck.
"People do it because it is fun, convenient and it is hot," said Brown, adding this latest incident should serve as a cautionary tale.
When he started in the force, he said, it was lawful to ride in the box of a truck but dogs riding in the back had to be tethered. "There was something wrong with that."
Paraplegic athletic and activist Rick Hansen incurred his spinal injury at 15 when he was thrown from the back of a pickup truck.
© Times Colonist (Victoria) 2007