Teacher, 36, killed by runaway wheel unit in west Edmonton crash
EDMONTON -- The driver killed after her vehicle was struck by a wheel unit in west Edmonton Wednesday morning was a 36-year-old teacher, CTV News has learned.
Her minivan was hit when a semi-truck’s axle and wheels came off at approximately 7:30 a.m. on Lessard Road at Anthony Henday Drive.
“As it came on top of this overpass and cleared the intersection, the rear converter dolly of the tractor came loose from the tractor unit,” Sgt. Rohitas Chandra with the Edmonton Police Service explained. “The converter unit then crossed the centre grassy median and went into oncoming traffic."
The driver was pronounced dead on scene.
She has been identified as Meghan Weis, a Grade 5 and 6 French immersion teacher at Our Lady of the Prairies.
“It is with a heavy heart and deep sadness that we confirm that the staff and students of Our Lady of the Prairies Catholic School have lost a member of our school family in a tragic accident this morning,” a letter sent to parents read.
“Her smile was as big as her heart. She was loved by her colleagues and students and was truly a shining light to all who knew her. She will be missed and has forever left a lasting mark on our hearts. For all of us, this is a time of great sorrow. We unite in our sorrow and prayers for the Weis family, as we express our deepest sympathies.”
The EPS Major Collisions Investigations Section and the Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit (CVIU) are investigating.
Police believe a second vehicle, a Ford Escape, was also hit.
This is the second crash of this kind in the area in as many days. On Oct. 27, a truck was crushed when it was hit by a loose dual-wheel.
EPS regularly inspects commercial vehicles to catch equipment issues and driver errors that could create problems on the roads.
“It’s definitely very serious,” Const. Andrew Hiller with CVIU said. “This stuff’s big equipment, it’s heavy equipment and it happens fast so the smallest little detail that’s missed by the driver or equipment error that could make a huge event such as a collision like this.”
During three days of inspections in October, CVIU members found 46 violations. Just 17 per cent of the vehicles passed inspection.
Hiller said commercial drivers should conduct trip inspections on their vehicles before every trip to avoid situations like these.