A semi on fire has closed the southbound lanes of the Coquihalla (Hwy 5) between Merritt and Hope. (Photo contributed)

Update: One dead , one seriously injured in fiery crash on Coquihalla Highway near Merritt

Southbound lanes are closed due to a vehicle incident

Update: Aug. 30

The B.C. RCMP Highway Patrol has released more information about the fatal collision on the Coquihalla Highway on Aug. 29.

Police say a slow-moving commercial transport truck was rear-ended by a second transport truck which then caught fire. The grass median between the northbound and southbound lanes of the highway also caught fire. The driver of the first truck, an Edmonton man, was uninjured. The driver of the second truck, a Winnipeg man, was trapped and died. His co-driver, also from Winnipeg, managed to get out of the truck but suffered life-threatening injuries.

The highway was closed for about 12 hours while the Highway Patrol investigated with assistance from Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement officers, the Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Service, and the BC Coroners’ Service. The cause of the crash remains under investigation and nothing has been ruled out.

Anyone with information regarding the collision, including any dashboard camera video, is asked to contact BC Highway Patrol Merritt at 250-378-4262 and cite file 2022-4023. Investigators would like to speak with the person who stopped at the scene, and identified themselves as a witness, but did not provide their name or contact information.

Update: 3 p.m.

The Coquihalla is estimated to open at around 6:00 p.m., however, DriveBC will have another update at 4 p.m. at which time the estimated time of opening might change.

The alternate route of Highway 5A and Highway 3 is available.

______

Update 11:45 a.m.

One person has died in a crash involving two semi-trailers on the Coquihalla Highway just south of Merritt.

“According to early information, one semi rear-ended a second which was broken down on the highway,” said Cpl. Mike Halskov, RCMP B.C. Highway Patrol. “At this time, we can confirm one person has died and another is in hospital in serious condition.”

The crash happened around 6:00 a.m. Monday (Aug. 29) near Comstock Road and resulted in a large fire, Cpl. Halskov added. The Coquihalla is still closed southbound between Merritt and Hope, with northbound traffic being stopped intermittently.

Original

The Coquihalla Highway has been closed just south of Merritt due to a vehicle incident.

Witnesses at the scene tell Capital News a semi is on fire. DriveBC reports the highway is shut down southbound between Merritt and Hope. Northbound traffic will be stopped intermittently. A detour is available via Highway 5a to Highway 3.

Updates are available at DriveBC.

READ MORE: Fatal semi-truck collision closes Highway 1 near Golden for over 24 hours


@GaryBarnes109
gary.barnes@kelownacapnews.com

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