Hope Search and Rescue responded to several multi-vehicle accidents Friday, one of which closed Highway 3 at Eastgate, this was the scene as rescuers made their way through the traffic. Hope Search and Rescue photo

Hope Search and Rescue responded to several multi-vehicle accidents Friday, one of which closed Highway 3 at Eastgate, this was the scene as rescuers made their way through the traffic. Hope Search and Rescue photo

Busy weekend for Hope Search and Rescue on local highways

Rescue teams responded to multi-vehicle accidents on Highway 1, 3 and 5

Hope rescue teams were on local highways for many hours this weekend, responding to several multi-vehicle accidents Friday and Sunday.

Hope Search and Rescue responded to three multi-vehicle accidents on the Coquihalla Highway Friday evening. Highway 3 was also closed at Eastgate as the rescue team headed out to the fourth accident of the evening at around 7 p.m.

Sunday was a very busy night as the team responded to multiple accidents on the Coquihalla Highway. The first call came at 5 p.m. at the request of the RCMP.

“We dispatched our two rescue trucks and the first one arrived on scene of the first MVI (multi-vehicle incident) at Caroline Mine Exit northbound,” a statement by search and rescue manager Mario Levesque read.

“(We) treated a pickup driver and handed the patient to BCAS (BC Ambulance Service).”

The second rescue truck carried on to a second accident at Box Canyon, where a driver was already in the care of ambulance workers. The truck then went on to a third accident on Highway 5 near the Coquihalla Summit. The team gave first aid and waited for an ambulance to arrive.

Earlier in the day a member of the 4-Wheel Drive Association of B.C. called road conditions on the Coquihalla “slicker than snot on a doorknob” as traffic ground to a halt near Box Canyon around 2:30 p.m.

At 8 p.m. rescue teams headed to a multi-vehicle accident, this time one car had rolled over and had one patient trapped inside on Highway 1 eastbound west of Laidlaw.

At 10 p.m. the team headed out for a second time to a multi-vehicle accident on Highway 5 north of the Portia chain up.

After a multi-vehicle crash Sunday Feb. 25 on the Coquihalla Highway near Hope, Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said higher standards of highway maintenance will be negotiated with contractors.

“The contractors were in their highest readiness for the storm. They’d been working around the clock on making sure the highway was cleared. It’s something that we’re obviously very aware of and making sure it’s as safe as possible,” she said Feb. 26.

“Contractors are working to high standards, but in the next round of negotiations there are going to be higher standards for winter maintenance.”