Sts’ailes/Cache Creek (Canadian Press) – A 27 year old Sts’ailes (Statimc) firefighter died following a head-on collision on Highway 1 near Cache Creek that claimed the lives of four people.
The tragedy happened on Tuesday September 19.
Blain Sonnenberg and three other firefighters were in a pickup that collided with a semi-truck east of Cache Creek. Three of the four firefighters were Indigenous.
Sonnenberg had just ended a 14-day wildfire deployment. All four firefighters worked for contractor Tomahawk Ventures.
“The wildland firefighting community has lost four good ones and they are irreplaceable,” Tomahawk Ventures owner Aaron Duczak stated. He asked for privacy but appreciates the public’s support and concern.
The initial RCMP investigation indicates the pickup carrying the four men “failed to navigate” a bend in the highway, slamming into the semi traveling in the opposite direction.
Agassiz Fire Department issued a statement to social media: The Agassiz Fire Department is deeply saddened with the tragic loss of the 4 wildfire firefighters this week. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families, friends, and the wildfire community while they cope with this loss. To the Sts’ailes First Nation, our neighbor and friend, our condolences and prayers are with you.