We drove into McBride yesterday to do some shopping and to drop off some stuff at the dump. It seemed no different from any other trip to town, until Joan glanced over to the side of the highway and said, “My gosh, the restaurant has burned down.”
There on the frontage road where the Sun Valley Restaurant used to sit was a still smoldering pile of blackened debris. It evidently burned in the middle of the night and by the time the McBride Volunteer Fire Dept. arrived there was very little they could do. Fortunately, the motel that sits immediately beside it was undamaged although all the patrons had to be leave their rooms.
It was such an unexpected sight that we were stunned. Even though our house is located on the other side of the river, we quite often can hear sirens, but I guess because of the snow storm Thursday night, we heard nothing.
Joan and I proceeded on to the trash depot, then drove over to the Whistle Stop Gallery to drop off some of my 2014 calendars. It was there that we received the second shock of the morning.
We were discussing the restaurant fire, when we were told of an accident east of Prince George between a small car and a logging truck that killed Regina Timmons, a harp player and Robson Valley resident. The driver (who I suspect was her husband Jake) was taken to the Prince George Hospital in critical condition, but none of the news media have given any names or updated information.
Living in a small isolated community makes it very difficult to get news about such events even with the internet. The Prince George news papers had photos of the terribly demolished car, but no names, even though the accident happened Thursday afternoon. All day Friday and today, I have checked for further information, but it seemed that since they had already used the dramatic photo of the wrecked vehicle on the front page, the news no longer had much interest.
Our Robson Valley papers only come out once a week, so if I don’t hear anything from the local grapevine, I will hopefully get more information when the local papers arrive.
It is very sad to hear about Regina, and I am very worried about Jake. The accident really re-enforces the fact that we take huge risks every time we have to drive in winter to Prince George, especially on the long curvy snowy highway populated with big trucks.
See my paintings at: www.davidmarchant.ca