Pandemic restrictions on travel within the province may have been lifted in B.C.’s reopening plan but wildfires have made things unpredictable.
Anyone travelling by road in B.C. this summer should take note of evacuation alerts and orders due to B.C. wildfires, as well as wildfire smoke affecting visibility, by checking DriveBC and B.C. Wildfire Service websites or social media accounts.
In addition, a vehicle crash yesterday on the Coquihalla Highway, between Merritt and Hope, B.C., has left four people injured and one person has died.
B.C. RCMP stated that around 8:30 a.m on July 17, first responders received reports about a serious single-vehicle rollover collision in the southbound lanes of Coquihalla Highway 5, south of the Portia Brake Check.
After the collision, southbound lanes of the Coquihalla were temporarily closed, resulting in “major congestion”, according to DriveBC.
Hope RCMP, B.C. Highway Patrol Chilliwack, and medical crews arrived at the scene to find “a heavily damaged grey Mazda CX-9 on its side”, according to B.C. RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey.
Two adults and two children had sustained “varying degrees of injuries, all serious and many considered to be potentially life threatening in nature”, O’Donaghey stated.
B.C. Emergency Health Services airlifted the two adults from the crash site while B.C. Air Ambulance transported one of the two children in critical condition to B.C. Children’s Hospital. The other child was taken to an area hospital with serious bodily injuries that were believed to be non-life-threatening in nature.
A woman in her 70s, who was the fifth occupant of the vehicle, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The B.C. Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the death of the female senior.
Meanwhile, B.C. Highway Patrol Chilliwack is leading an investigation into the collision. B.C. RCMP are not releasing the identities of the individuals involved in this crash.
Anyone who witnessed this crash or who may have dashcam footage relevant to this incident is asked to contact B.C. Highway Patrol Chilliwack at 604-702-4039.