A Burnaby homeowner is calling on the city to install concrete barriers along a steep section of Royal Oak Avenue after a truck crashed into his property Friday. “People go too fast down here and it’s just too dangerous, especially when it snows. That’s my main issue with this area,” said Romeo Gopal, adding that some of the concrete blocks shielding other homes on the street have prevented out-of-control vehicles from causing damage in the past. Emergency crews responded at around 9:30 a.m. after a truck went off the road and flipped onto its side in Gopal’s backyard, located just north of Marine Drive. “The ground shook, so we just thought it was a big truck going by.
We go outside, look out the window and then there you go,” he said. “I’m just really upset about this place.” The truck hit Gopal’s Toyota 4Runner SUV, damaging its front end and pushing it into his garage, which is detached from the main home on the property. It’s unclear how badly the garage itself was damaged. Police, firefighters and ambulances were at the scene. Gopal said the truck driver was being looked at by paramedics, but wasn’t sure if he was injured. The cause of the crash remains unknown, but a commercial vehicle inspection is underway and could help determine if the truck experienced a mechanical failure. It isn’t the first time Gopal’s family and home have been put at risk by out-of-control vehicles on the hill. “A couple of years ago, when it snowed, my wife almost got hit and my daughter by a car sliding down the hill,” he said. “As I was walking up, I just looked up and I saw this car practically beside me. It hit my purse and…I held onto my husband’s truck and jumped out of the way,” said his wife, Anita, recalling the incident on New Year’s Eve 2016.
A car had to be towed off Gopal’s property as recently as last week, when a snow storm swept across Metro Vancouver. Fortunately, no one was injured. Gopal said the number of crashes outside his home is causing him and his wife to have second thoughts about living there and hopes officials will step in to make the street safer. “We thought down the road we’d build here and now my wife is like, ‘We should just move.’ But where are you going to move? It’s so expensive now,” he said. “I want to let the city know that because I’m going to file a complaint or something—talk to somebody.”