Newfoundland: Trucker’s body found in trailer


Ontario Provincial Police are facing tough questions about their search for a missing Newfoundland trucker whose rig was found two weeks ago in Ontario, then sent back to Newfoundland, where his body was found Monday in the trailer.

Brian Lush’s family last heard from him on April 24, and using data from a GPS tracking device they established that his tractor-trailer was parked at a gas station in Summerstown, Ont.

They contacted the OPP, who issued a news release on April 26 saying surveillance video from the gas station in eastern Ontario showed the 51-year-old truck driver at the front of his rig on April 24 at 4:30 p.m. Lush was expected home in Stephenville, N.L., later that week.

The provincial police force issued a number of subsequent statements, including a plea for video images from dashcams or trail cameras recorded on or near Highway 401 near Cornwall, Ont., on April 25 between 10:30 a.m. and noon.

“An individual partially matching Brian’s description had been reported along the highway at that time but could not be located when officers arrived,” the OPP said in a statement dated April 29.

The search included help from the OPP’s emergency response team, canine units, a remotely operated drone, an OPP helicopter and search and rescue volunteers.

The search failed to turn up anything, except Lush’s personal belongings in his truck.

On Monday, the OPP confirmed Lush had been found dead and foul play was not suspected, but the police force did not say where his body was found.

The following day, the RCMP in Newfoundland issued a statement confirming Lush’s remains were found Monday inside his tractor-trailer after it arrived in Port aux Basques in the southwestern corner of the island.

On Wednesday, OPP spokesman Bill Dickson did not respond when asked by email if OPP officers had searched the trailer. He confirmed there will be a review of the investigation.

“While we acknowledge that we did not locate the missing person, who was later found deceased inside the trailer after it was returned to Newfoundland, we did conduct an extensive investigation and search to try and locate him,” Dickson said.

“We are conducting a review of our investigation and we will share those details with the family, as we continue to liaise with them.”

He said the coroner’s office in Newfoundland is investigating the death because there was no foul play.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 8, 2024. By Michael MacDonald in Halifax.

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