Construction company denies wrongoing in freeway crash

An Abbotsford man died last Tuesday after he crashed into a construction vehicle on Highway 1 in heavy fog.

The construction company involved in the fatal Highway 1 crash in Langley where Mandeep Singh Aujla died has come out with a statement denying any wrongdoing on the foggy Oct. 22 night.

Jake’s Construction writes “precautionary safety measures were in place at the time of the accident. We have a reputation of being a very safe company and all our business practices reflect this.”

Jake’s Construction goes onto say that false allegations have been made against the company. it says it has no record that calls were made by other road maintenance crews warning their crews to move to the shoulder or halt work altogether because of the fog.

Jake’s Construction doesn’t say what safety precautions were made that night but said they are always followed. They have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Meanwhile, Lower Mainland RCMP confirm that a 911 call was made by a distressed driver who claimed he almost drove into the highway crew just hours before the deadly crash occurred.

The truck driver claims he told 911 dispatch that he was forced to veer out of the way just at the last minute, after seeing the construction crew working in the fast lane of the freeway.

RCMP Sgt. Peter Thiessen confirms the call was made and said it normally would be passed on to the ministry of transportation, but for some reason that didn’t happen.

He confirmed that police are looking into where the communication breakdown took place and why.

The fatal crash took place about 3:50 a.m. The initial investigation indicates the driver of the Toyota RAV4 was travelling eastbound along Highway 1 when it slammed into the rear of a construction vehicle, which was parked in the passing lane of the highway. The SUV burst into flames and Aujla, who is from Abbotsford, died at the scene.

The crash took place just west of the 264 Street overpass.

Roadwork along that portion of Highway 1 has been underway for months, as the freeway is being widened from two to three eastbound lanes. Work regularly takes place in the overnight hours, to reduce traffic congestion problems.

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