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)

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

A boat caught fire in Ladysmith Harbour on Saturday morning. (Photo submitted)
Missing woman’s remains recovered from Ladysmith harbour

The remains of a 60 year old woman were recovered after a boat fire took her life on Feb. 27

Ladysmith Secondary School. (File photo)
Ladysmith Secondary reports another COVID-19 exposure

This makes LSS the school with the most exposure days in the Island Health region currently

Plantitude’s ‘Stargazer Bubbles’. (Plantitude photo)
Plantitude offers ‘stargazer bubble’ dining experience

The 10 foot by seven foot bubbles can seat up to six people

It’s been almost a year since the last public performance inside the Chemainus Theatre. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Lead donors pledge $60,000 in matching campaign at the Chemainus Theatre

Perrys, Hiltons and Duncan Iron Works help to Bridge the Gap during COVID shutdown

Doug Routley is the chair of a special committee on reforming the Police Act. (File photo)
Routley selected chair of a special committee on reforming the Police Act

Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA acknowledges there will be a lot of material to process

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 8 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Intiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

This was the scene outside North Saanich’s Parkland Secondary School after an attempted but unsuccessful break-and-enter into the school torched an ATM inside of it. Sidney/North Saanich RCMP did not make any arrests and currently lack suspects as the investigation continues. Members of the public who may have witnessed something or possess other information can contact police at (250) 656-3931 or to Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. (Submitted)
Money to burn: burglars torch North Saanich high school ATM

Police dogs searched the exterior and interior of the school after early morning break-and-enter

The first of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft—the Dash-8—becomes operational. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s new De Havilland Dash-8-100 long-range surveillance air craft is capable of staying aloft for eight to 10 hours for a variety of missions up and down the B.C. coast. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
New plane will double DFO’s surveillance capacity in B.C.

The Dash-8 will fly out of Campbell River for enforecment, conservation missions

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

t
Province invests $2M in three Vancouver Island food hubs

Hub network provides shared-use processing facilities to small agri-businesses

Most Read