RCMP said Highway 5 north of Hope, BC opened to traffic late yesterday evening after a multi-vehicle collision in the morning that claimed one life and injured several others, some seriously.
Fraser Valley Traffic Services (FVTS) confirmed this morning that this incident began with a report of a semi truck stopped in the northbound lanes of Highway 5 in the S-curves.
An officer from FVTS responded and came upon the scene to find that during the time it took him to get there, a pickup truck had collided into the rear of stopped semi truck.
The road conditions in the area of the collision were treacherous and caught many unaware which resulted in a cascading, chain-reaction collision involving at least two dozen vehicles, including passenger vehicles, semi trucks, and a bus.
As he was approaching the scene, the responding officer from FVTS was forced to take evasive action and, due to the severe road conditions, he, too collided with the concrete barrier.
The police car was then hit from behind by jack-knifed semi truck that was not able to stop, injuring the police officer who watched through his rear-view mirror as he was about to be hit.
Police can confirm that severe road and weather conditions contributed significantly to this crash. Speed relative to conditions also played a factor, and police would like to remind motorists to drive according to the road and weather conditions.
In this collision, slower speeds may not have prevented collisions due to the highway being glare ice, but slower speeds may have reduced injury. A number of rescue vehicles, including tow trucks and a BC ambulance were also involved in minor crashes as they arrived at the scene to render assistance.
Police are continuing to investigate and estimate that approximately 50 people were involved in this collision.
The driver of the pickup (that struck the stopped semi), a man in his forties from the South Okanagan along with his dog died in the crash. Five people were taken to hospital with significant injuries, however only one remains in hospital with broken bones and is expected to recover.
Of the remaining people involved, injuries ranged from minor to non-life threatening or requiring no medical intervention.
BC RCMP Traffic Services would like to extend its thanks to the many individuals, volunteers and agencies that responded to people in need by providing transportation, shelter and warmth to the individuals involved in this crash.
Investigators report that they have received a significant amount of dash camera video from several sources that will aid the investigation however, at this time, no criminal charges are anticipated.