The Duncan man who died Wednesday when a rock fell from a logging truck and smashed into his windshield has been identified as 52-year-old Gregory Thomas Howlett.
Howlett and his wife were driving west in a pickup truck on Highway 18, which connects Duncan and Lake Cowichan, when the rock came loose.
His wife, who was the passenger, was unhurt.
Witnesses said they saw the rock come off the logging truck, hit the roadway and break apart. A piece about the size of a brick then bounced up and went through the pickups windshield, striking Howlett.
A passing driver stopped and called for help, then tried to give assistance to injured man.
Howlett was transported to Cowichan District Hospital and died shortly after arrival.
Howlett worked as a site superintendent for Nanaimo-based Island West Coast Developments Ltd., where his co-workers are reeling at the news of his tragic death.
Tina Brooks, the companys operations manager, said Howlett had two daughters.
He was a great guy and we really are so concerned for his family right now and how theyre doing, Brooks said.
She said the company is close-knit and Howletts death is hitting everyone hard. Were just still trying to process that hes actually gone. He will be greatly missed.
Police do not believe the logging-truck driver saw what happened.
Efforts continue to track the driver down, said Cpl. Darren Lagan of the Island District RCMP, but it is not an easy task.
Theres about 100 to 150 trucks a day that come in and out of there, he said.
Lagan reiterated that Howlett would have been powerless to avoid what happened.
Its one of those cases where theres nothing that could have been done on the part of the driver to prevent this, he said. Thats the tragic part about this, he would not have had time to react.
The B.C. Coroners Service and WorkSafe B.C. are working with RCMP Traffic Services in the investigation.
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