B.C. Ambulance Services prepare to send a patient to Royal Columbian Hospital via air ambulance following a fatal crash on the Coquihalla Highway. More than 40 people were transported to Hope Secondary, set up a s a warming station. One person has died and three are seriously injured. (Photo/Shane MacKichan)

B.C. Ambulance Services prepare to send a patient to Royal Columbian Hospital via air ambulance following a fatal crash on the Coquihalla Highway. More than 40 people were transported to Hope Secondary, set up a s a warming station. One person has died and three are seriously injured. (Photo/Shane MacKichan)

Icy roads, speed behind fatal 24-vehicle pileup involving charter bus, semi on Coquihalla

At least 50 people involved, five seriously injured on Wednesday, police say

It began as a rear-end dual-vehicle crash, and ended in a chain reaction that involved a total of at least 24 vehicles and 50 people in a pileup on the Coquihalla Highway on Wednesday morning near Hope. The horrific series of crashes seriously injured five people and killed a motorist and their dog.

RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Mike Halskov said the chain reaction began when a pickup truck collided into the rear of a stopped semi truck along the northbound lanes of Highway 5 in the S-curves. Road conditions were slippery and caught many drivers off-guard, resulting in a chain reaction collision involving passenger vehicles, semi trucks, tow trucks, an ambulance, an RCMP vehicle and a bus.

A South Okanagan man in his 40s and his dog, who were in the pickup truck in the initial collision, died at the scene of the crash. Five people were taken to hospital with significant injuries; only one remains in hospital with broken bones and is expected to recover. Dozens more sustained minor or non-life threatening injuries.

RELATED: Coquihalla reopened after pileup leaves 1 dead, dozens injured

Halskov said the police officer responding to the initial crash was among the injured.

“As he was approaching the scene, was forced to take evasive action and, due to the severe road conditions, he, too collided with the concrete barrier,” Halskov said. The officer’s vehicle was hit from behind by a jack-knifed semi truck that was not able to stop, injuring the officer.

“[The officer] watched through his rear view-mirror as he was about to be hit,” Halskov said.

Police confirmed treacherous road and weather conditions contributed to the crash, but speed with respect to the conditions was also a contributing factor.

“Police would like to remind motorists to drive according to the road and weather conditions,” Halskov said. “In this collision, slower speeds may not have prevented collisions due to the highway being glare ice, but slower speeds may have reduced injury.”

Police extended thanks to the volunteers and agencies that responded to Wednesday morning’s pileup. Investigators have received a significant amount of dash cam footage, but at this time, no criminal charges are anticipated.


@adamEditor18
adam.louis@hopestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coquihalla HighwayHopeRCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health reports 16 new COVID-19 cases

423 cases remain active in the region

Cranbrook city hall.
Curbside recycling collection program set for May debut

A residential curbside recycling collection program is expected to begin in Cranbrook… Continue reading

Cranbrook's Donald and Sharleen March won $75,000 in a scratch and win ticket, according to the BC Lottery Corporation.
Cranbrook couple wins $75,000 with scratch ticket

A Cranbrook couple is the recipient of a cool $75,000 from a… Continue reading

Images from yesteryear: The Cranbrook Girls Bugle Band, with Joyce Metcalfe standing second from left.
Remembering Joyce Metcalfe, and the Cranbrook Girls Bugle Band

Isn’t it amazing when by chance in this huge world of ours, meet outstanding people that greatly influence our lives? One such person was Joyce Metcalfe.

Pictured are Meredith Funston of Cranbrook Food Recovery (left), Shannon Grey Duncan of Kimberley Food Recovery (middle) and Wade Jarvis of Bohemian Spirits (right). The three have teamed up to divert bread from the landfill and turn it into ethanol, which is used to make hand sanitizer. (Corey Bullock file)
Cranbrook, Kimberley organizations team up to turn excess bread into ethanol

Local food recovery programs have teamed up with Bohemian Spirits to keep bread out of the landfill

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

Dr. Amit Desai of St. Francis Hospital receives a COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 17. (Photo courtesy of CHI Franciscan)
B.C. has now vaccinated more people from COVID-19 than total confirmed cases

B.C. has reached a milestone, vaccinating roughly 1.6% of its population from the coronavirus

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read