Update: Coquihalla re-opens, after incident requiring a medevac

DriveBC warns of continued congestion and delays

The Coquihalla Highway is open again after over an hour closed in both directions to allow a medevac helicopter to land.

Traffic was stopped between Exit 238 and 250 on the Hope to Merritt stretch of Highway 5 for over an hour, according to Drive BC. Drivers should now expect delays and congestion.

After heavy snowfall over the weekend and into Tuesday night, several incidents had the highway closed or partially closed from Tuesday evening and all through Wednesday morning.

The highway was closed in both directions just before 11:30 p.m. Tuesday north of the Great Bear Snowshed, which took around two hours to clear up according to DriveBC.

Hope’s volunteer search and rescue crew attended the highway incident Tuesday evening. They described white out conditions and fast accumulating snow and sheer ice. Arriving on scene, they found 15 semis who had either “spun out, slid into one another, or jackknifed.”

The team was able to clear the scene and made it back to Hope by 2 a.m., only to be called out again at 5:30 a.m. for a vehicle over an embankment. This call was cancelled, rescuers stated, as the people involved had self-rescued.

Another vehicle incident at 8 a.m. Wednesday blocked the right lane southbound before Portia Bridge. It is unclear whether this is the same incident which later closed the highway to allow a medevac to land.

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