A Fraser Valley-area trucker said he was the first on the scene of a car which had gone over an embankment near the Great Bear Snow Shed on Highway 5 Thursday, Aug. 6. (Submitted photo)

One person dead after vehicle went over embankment on Coquihalla Highway

Trucker who was first on scene said vehicle was engulfed in flames near Great Bear Snowshed

One person is dead after their vehicle went over an embankment Thursday, Aug. 6 on the Coquihalla Highway.

A Fraser Valley-area trucker, who the Hope Standard has chosen not to identify, said he was the first on the scene of the incident involving a single person whose car went over an embankment on the northbound side of the highway. Hope Volunteer Search and Rescue crews confirmed they got the call just before noon Thursday, with details about a single vehicle with an unknown number of occupants Noelle Hartt with the rescue group confirmed.

“The vehicle had gone over the embankment at the snowshed and was on fire,” she stated, referring to the Great Bear Snow Shed approximately 50 kilometres from Hope.

The trucker said he stopped his rig on the far right lane of the highway, after hearing over the radio about an incident and seeing black smoke down the embankment. He then climbed down, equipped with a fire extinguisher, and arrived to see the vehicle engulfed in flames.

The trucker doused the vehicle with his fire extinguisher, coming back up the embankment around 10 minutes later when the extinguisher was empty.

“I’ve helped out, actually, at quite a few accidents on the highway, but I’ve never helped out at a fatal,” the man, who has been a trucker for seven years, said. “It was brutal, I’m still mentally recovering from what I saw…My heart’s with the family, I can’t even fathom what they’re going through.”

Andy Watson, spokesperson with the BC Coroners Service, said the organization is in the early stages of their investigation into the cause of the man’s death. Nothing further could be shared by the service.

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Emergency crews at the scene of a single-vehicle incident involving one man who died after his car went over an embankment on the Coquihalla Highway around 50 kilometres from Hope. (Submitted photo)

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