UPDATE: 9:59 p.m.
According to an update by DriveBC at 9:52 p.m., Highway 5 northbound lanes near Hope are now clear. Traffic is now moving again following a multi-vehicle crash Wednesday morning.
UPDATE: 4:23 p.m.
The Coquihalla Highway remains closed indefinitely as emergency and highway workers continue to deal with the aftermath of the multi-vehicle collision this morning that claimed one life and injured dozens more.
Fraser Valley Traffic Services spokesperson Cpl. Mike Halskov said police continue to investigate the crash, and the total number of injuries is not yet available. One death has been confirmed along with several life-threatening injuries.
B.C. Emergency Health Services previously confirmed two people were airlifted to hospital in critical condition. Three were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition and more than 30 other individuals were being assessed.
“Investigators will remain at the scene until such time as vehicles can be towed and the highway is made safe for travel after the winter storm that passed through the area this morning,” Halskov said.
Hope emergency personnel set up a warming station at Hope Secondary School; principal Rosalee Floyd estimated at least 25 uninjured people spent roughly half an hour at the warming centre and left via eBus around 2 p.m.
Halskov said Traffic Services will provide a complete update on Thursday. Road conditions will be updated online at Drivebc.ca.
UPDATE: 12:35 p.m.
BC Emergency Health Services (BC EHS) is confirming two people were airlifted to hospital in critical condition following a multi-vehicle crash on the Coquihalla, Wednesday morning.
Three people were taken to hospital by ambulance in serious but stable condition and more than 30 other individuals are being assessed by paramedics at a nearby warming station in Hope.
According to BC EHS, multiple paramedic crews were dispatched to the scene, including 13 ground, three air ambulances, several supervisor units and multi-patient transit buses.
UPDATE: 11:32 a.m.
A crash which closed the Coquihalla this morning has been confirmed as a fatal collision.
“There are an undetermined number of people injured and one person has died as a result of this crash,” stated RCMP Traffic Services.
At about 9:40 a.m., emergency crews responded to a multi-vehicle collision in the area. At this time, RCMP believe road and weather conditions in the area may have been a “significant” contributing factor in the crash.
The number and variety of injuries is not yet known to police.
Highway 5 northbound remains closed at the junction of Highway 3.
Motorists are asked to obey traffic personnel and consider delaying travel plans in the area. Anyone with dash-cam footage is asked to call Fraser Valley Traffic Services at 604-702-4039.
The Coquihalla remains closed northbound about 5 km north of the Highway 3, Highway 5 junction.
Southbound lanes are open.
Drivers should expect to encounter compact snow, slippery sections and limited visibility due to blowing snow.
UPDATE – #BCHwy5 closed NB 5 km north of the #BCHwy3 #BCHwy5 Junction.
Southbound is open. Expect to encounter Compact Snow, Slippery Sections and Limited Visibility due to Blowing Snow. #MerrittBC #HopeBC @EAMOperations @YRBNicola pic.twitter.com/O2TtF7FfuI
— DriveBC (@DriveBC) February 10, 2021
The Coquihalla is closed in both directions after several vehicles collided, Wednesday morning.
The incident happened in the eastbound lanes of Highway 5 near Othello, before 10 a.m.
There are reports of several semi-trucks involved in the crash.
CLOSED – #BCHwy5 – Vehicle incident north of #HopeBC has the highway closed. Crews are on scene, assessment in progress. Estimated time of re-opening not available.
— DriveBC (@DriveBC) February 10, 2021
Highway 5 is extremely icy as temperatures dip to -8 C due to an Arctic outflow that is bringing cold air to the area.
One person on social media claims an ambulance was also hit by another vehicle in the same incident.
More to come.
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