Peter Marshall says the windshield of his 1987 Toyota pickup truck was smashed by falling ice. The incident occurred near Nanaimo, B.C. (Photo submitted)

Vancouver Island man claims falling ice smashed his truck windshield

Man discovered volleyball-sized chunk ice on his truck Saturday, near Nanaimo, B.C.

A Vancouver Island man is wondering how a massive chunk of ice ended up smashing the windshield of his truck this past weekend.

Peter Marshall, who lives on Rumming Road in Lantzville, near Nanaimo, B.C., claims he woke up at around 6:45 a.m. on Saturday morning after hearing a strange noise and walked outside and discovered a large piece of ice had smashed the windshield of his truck.

“I cannot explain the noise. It didn’t sound like a car crash, but it was something. I figured it was in the yard and so I went out with the dog and the motion light came on and I saw a block of ice [on] my truck,” Marshall said. “Then the motion light shut off and I just went in and got a flashlight and when I came back out, I scanned around and I saw my windshield was caved in.”

Marshall said the piece of ice near his Toyota truck was the size of a volleyball and that when he looked around his property, he found more pieces of ice.

“There was another piece that was about the size of a fist. Then there were numerous golf-ball sized ones all around the truck,” he said.

Marshall isn’t entirely sure what caused the ice balls to land on his property, but believes it was from a descending airplane. He said planes coming and going from Vancouver International Airport often fly over his home and after doing some research online, he learned of an incident where ice detached from an airplane.

“I seen that a similar thing had happened in Calgary but went through a house. It was about a year ago,” Marshall said.

According to PlaneFinder.net, two airplanes flew over the area between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Marshall said he wouldn’t know which airline is responsible if it is indeed ice from an airplane. He said he was outside with his wife examining the damage when they heard a second airplane fly over his house.

“As my wife and I were looking another one came in, but I can’t really tell because I am only seeing the belly of the plane and it was dark,” he said.

Story continues below

Marshall has since contacted the Nanaimo RCMP as well as Transport Canada, which confirmed in an e-mailed statement to the News Bulletin that it is aware of the incident and is investigating.

“Transport Canada will review specific details of the incidents provided by members of the public, assess local radar data and follow up with aircraft operators and local airports. Transport Canada takes all reports of possible debris coming from aircraft very seriously, however it can be difficult to determine the origins of the ice,” said Marie-Anyk Côte, senior advisor with Transport Canada.

Frozen lavatory waste is referred to as “blue ice” according to Côté, who said that aircraft that have washroom facilities onboard are equipped with an enclosed sewage holding tank that is designed to be emptied at airports. She said it is possible for the tank’s valve to malfunction.

“If this happens, the liquid seeping from valves freezes and adheres to the outside of the aircraft when the aircraft is flying at high altitudes,” she said in an e-mail. “As the aircraft starts its descent and the atmosphere gets warmer, the ice will start to melt and pieces will detach themselves from the aircraft. These pieces of ice will either melt or remain in their solid state before hitting the ground.”

Canadian Aviation Regulations states that “no person shall create a hazard to persons or property on the surface by dropping an object from an aircraft in flight.” Côté said should Transport Canada determine that an airline has failed to comply with aviation regulations, the department will take “appropriate enforcement” action, which includes fines, warnings or grounding aircraft.

ICBC will cover the cost of the broken windshield, according to Marshall, who said he’ll still have to pay his $300 deductible. He said he also has no idea which airline to contact about the incident either.

“I don’t even know where to start. I am not even a customer,” he said. “Who do you phone?”

At the end of the day, the Lantzville resident considers himself lucky to be alive, given the size of the ice that could have fallen on someone’s head.

“It would have killed them and who would’ve ever known? The ice would have melted and they would have been laying there dead, looking like they pissed themselves,” he said.

Marshall said he still has the ice.


nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

IHIT on scene of suspicious early-morning fire on rural Mission property

Entrance to Gunn Avenue property cordoned off while investigation takes place, updates coming

SLIDESHOW: Chilliwack firefighters battle large blaze at Rosedale chicken barn Friday

Majority of birds saved but buildings on Castleman Road destroyed by fire

VIDEO: Chilliwack chicken barn destroyed by fire

Chickens saved from blaze as firefighters work to control large fire

Chilliwack Fair kicks off tonight with local talent

Todd Richard and Appaloosa to hit the stage for drive-in concert at fairgrounds

50-year-old time capsule unsealed at Abbotsford International Airport

Capsule sealed by former PM Pierre E. Trudeau in 1970, when event became ‘Canada’s National Airshow’

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Fraser Valley Bandits advance to CEBL Championship Game

Bandits post comeback 76-75 win over Hamilton Honey Badgers in Saturday’s semifinal

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

FURTHER UPDATE: Body removed from Maple Ridge hotel after large police presence

A large contingent of Mounties were at the Art Infiniti Hotel Friday afternoon and evening

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Most Read