VANDERHOOF – Communities are still raw from the loss of Fort St. James youth 27 year old Dustin Schamehorn and 25 year old Miles Clayton Filewood on highway 27. Now only twelve days later, highway 16 claims two lives from Vanderhoof.
17 year olds, Emily Eggleton and Clayton Neufeld, 2017 grads from Nechako Valley Secondary School, were fatally injured on Wednesday August 9, at 5:46 p.m. in a collision on Highway 16, near Guest Road 40 km east of Vanderhoof.
They were on their way back from the Ancient Forest, close to home, when the Chev Cavalier lost control, crossed the center line and struck a loaded logging truck behind the driver’s side fuel tank.
The impact of the collision was instantly fatal to the two occupants of the car. The driver of the logging truck was treated for non-life threatening injuries and later released from hospital.
A joint service for Emily and Clayton is taking place in the Vanderhoof Arena on Wednesday August 16 at 12:00 noon. The BC Coroner continues the investigation into the reason(s) for the loss of control of the vehicle. It is unknown whether road conditions; mechanical failure; cross winds or human error such as speed; fatigue; distraction or impairment are to blame.
The highway was closed for 13 hrs, reopened at 7:00 a.m. DriveBC stated there was no detour, some traffic did make their way around via Blackwater Road and the Bobtail FSR.
– files from Vanderhoof RCMP, photo and personal information courtesy of the Eggleton and Neufeld families