Crash that closed Coquihalla Highway now deadly, RCMP says

VANCOUVER – At least one person has died after a collapse that closed the southbound lanes of Coquihalla Highway much of the day Saturday.

BC RCMP spokesman Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey confirmed in an email that the BC Highway Patrol is investigating the crash and that BC Coroners Service has been notified.

O’Donaghey did not say how many passengers were in the vehicle when it crashed or how many were dead.

BC Emergency Health Services told CTV News Vancouver that two people were transported to the hospital in critical condition and two more were transported by ground ambulances after the severe crash that occurred around 6 p.m.

The ambulance service sent two air ambulances and four ground ambulances to the scene.

While the two people transported by helicopter from the scene were in critical condition, those transported by ambulance were in stable condition according to EHS.

DriveBC first tweeted reports of the incident just after noon. 9.30am and soon confirmed that a crash had closed Highway 5’s southbound lanes for more than 106 kilometers.

The closure was in effect from a mile south of Merritt to a mile north of Hope, according to DriveBC, which advised motorists to take Highway 5A to Highway 3 as a detour.

While Coquihalla’s northbound lanes remained open, DriveBC said major delays are expected in both directions.

Around. At 1.30pm, the agency tweeted that southbound traffic was “slowly being flushed”, a phrase later clarified it meant that vehicles were allowed to pass the collision scene and continue towards Hope.

The highway reopened around noon. 15.30 according to DriveBC.

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