Blast sends rock crashing onto bed in Colwood couple’s home

Darryl Olsen knows a close call when he hears one.

And he heard a huge one on Monday, when a jagged 17-pound rock — he and his wife Jorgia weighed it — hurtled from a nearby blasting project and smashed through their Pondside Terrace roof in Colwood. It broke a roof truss, slammed into the master bedroom and hit the bed, smashing the bedframe, said Olsen, 55. “It hit right specifically where I would lay.”

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Luckily, he was home alone in the kitchen at the time — just after 2:15 p.m.

Jorgia said she has been traumatized by what could have happened to Darryl.

“Our entire life has been disrupted,” she said, adding she dreads six more weeks of blasting. Tri-X-Excavating Ltd. has been blasting for months at a Latoria Road hillside about 90 metres away to make way for a new subdivision.

Had the rock not hit the bed, its velocity would likely have taken it through the floor to the spare bedroom below, Darryl said. They’ll be sleeping in that spare bedroom until repairs are made.

Several Pondside Terrace homes suffered damage. Olsen said his neighbour got a rock through the roof that is still in the attic.

Olsen said a man he assumes was the superintendent came over, “pretty shaken up,” and said the company had liability insurance to handle the damage.

Kyle Esser, 57, another Pondside resident, said he had become used to the blasting but was startled by the size of this blast.

“Ten seconds later, [rocks] started to rain down,” putting a hole in his roof the size of a grapefruit. “I went out onto the street and there were pieces of rock everywhere. They were very angular and very sharp.”

One rock smashed through the windshield of a parked car and another “the size of a man’s fist” landed beside a car.

“It was such a good thing that it was a cooler, rainy day,” he said.

“We live at the top of the street where all the children play and there are six or seven children out on a sunny day.”

Except for a conversation shortly after the event with two men from the worksite, he has heard nothing from the blaster. “No apology, nothing.”

But he has learned that men have been on the street picking up the debris, down to small rocks.

“Unknown to me, they picked up part of a tire that landed in our backyard along with another grapefruit-sized stone … I can only guess that the piece of tire was blown off the blast mats. No one asked if they could go on our property.”

A man who answered a phone number for Tri-X-Excavating Ltd. on Tuesday said he was with the firm but did not respond to a question about whether the company had determined what went wrong. “I’m not going to talk about it right now,” he said, and hung up.

There was no blasting on Tuesday, Jorgia Olsen said.

kdedyna@timescolonist.com

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