Highway Thru Hell returns to TV

New season of local series starring Jamie Davis Heavy Rescue premiers Sept. 3

Ken Monkhouse (left)

The wait is over: a new season of Highway Thru Hell premiers Sept. 3.

Last season, steep hills, lethal drop-offs, killer rockslides, and the worst weather in a decade captivated audiences, with Highway Thru Hell ranking as the No. 1 series premiere in the Discovery Channel’s history. Jamie Davis and his heavy rescue crew are now back for another winter on the treacherous mountain highways.

“Season two throws us some curves,” said Davis. “There are a lot of really great epic episodes. The quality of the show has improved and they are very well done.”

With the winter forecast for 2013, Davis bulked up his team with new drivers and invested in his biggest fleet yet. He now has 28 trucks between two locations. The company expanded to Fort McMurray earlier this year.

“There’s a big misunderstanding that people think that we just left town. We did move some of our operations out of town but not everything,” said Davis. “No matter what I planned to do and what direction I wanted to take, life always threw me a curveball and took me to a totally different place then I thought I would be. We go from the lowest of lows and back up again.”

Davis acknowledges that there are several stakeholders in addition to the heavy rescue crews that help keep the roads clear every winter, including VSA Highway Maintenance Ltd., Emil Anderson Maintenance, the RCMP, BC Ambulance, and the B.C. Ministry of Transportation. Davis said statistics have shown that accidents have reduced from 75 major crashes to 37 since the premiere of the first season.

“It gives the public a big message about safety and it actually helps to reduce accidents,” he added.

Local tourism also appears to be benefiting from the show, which can now be seen worldwide in 170 countries. Davis said he has visitors from around the world visit the tow yard in Hope at least four times a day. He also receives more than 100 Facebook messages about the show daily.

“It is an amazing road we’re on,” said Davis. “I don’t think anybody thought it would be so out-of-control popular.”

Season two will feature dynamic visuals including 3D maps depicting the locations of the wrecks and new animations taking viewers back in time to the moment of impact, heightening the wreck stories featured on Highway Thru Hell. Also, building on first season’s original nine episodes and “After the Crash” special, season two grows to 13 hours, plus four Highway Thru Hell: Reloaded episodes. These new “reloads” feature at least five minutes of new content (extended scenes and bonus footage), plus an on-screen graphics package that includes the best viewer Twitter comments, “factoids” about the production and the crashes. The first Highway Thru Hell: Reloaded episode revisits the season one finale special “After the Crash,” and caps the Labour Day marathon on Sept. 2 at 6 p.m. The updated special includes new footage and catches up with Davis’ crew to set up the start of the new season.

The twists and turns of Highway Thru Hell will also extend online with full episodes (one week after broadcast), “Highway Heroes” vignettes profiling the people who work to keep the highway safe, and in-depth analysis from the cast and crew of some of this season’s most memorable wrecks.

Viewers can revisit the crashes and conflicts from season one as the Discovery Channel presents a nine-hour Labour Day marathon on Sept. 2 beginning at 10 a.m. New episodes of Highway Thru Hell air at 10 p.m. on Tuesdays starting Sept. 3.

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