Clifford Bishop, 54, of Cassidy, B.C., died when his Mitsubishi SUV collided head-on with a GMC pickup on the Trans-Canada Highway south of Nanaimo early Monday. Photo submitted

Truck driver identified as one victim in fatal highway crash on the Island

Clifford Bishop, 54, a resident of Cassidy, had been a truck driver since he was 18

One of the victims of a double fatal head-on collision in Nanaimo early Monday is described as a transport truck driver who loved his job and called his mother every day.

Clifford Bishop, 54, was identified by his niece Melanie Mercer as one of the men who died in Monday’s crash between a GMC pickup and Bishop’s Mitsubishi SUV on the Trans-Canada Highway in Nanaimo.

Mercer said Bishop, from Newfoundland, was living in Cassidy, south of Nanaimo, and had been a heavy transport truck driver since he was 18 and had recently received a safe driving award. Bishop was driving to work when the crash occurred shortly before 1 a.m.

“He was going to get his workload schedule,” Mercer said in an online interview. “He had the biggest heart and loved his mom dearly. Called her daily and he had a heart for the road. He loved his job. Sadly it took his life.”

Mercer said in a social media post that the pickup that collided with Bishop’s SUV was stolen and was being driven at a high speed after it failed to stop for an RCMP officer who tried to pull it over.

Neither the Nanaimo RCMP or the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. have confirmed that the truck was stolen or that police were in pursuit of the vehicle.

“The background of the driver and whether the truck was stolen may be relevant pieces of information that might explain some of the actions of the driver of the truck. We will therefore be working to confirm all such information during our investigation,” said Ron MacDonald, IIO B.C. spokesman, in an e-mail.

Bishop was married and leaves behind his wife, who requested she and Bishop’s employer not be identified, and is predeceased by his son who died in Calgary in July, Mercer said.



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