Major crash on the Coquihalla highway between Merritt and Hope

By Chad Harris
August 5, 2016 - 2:59pm Updated: August 6, 2016 - 12:21am

KAMLOOPS —The Coquihalla Highway has reopened in both directions now that emergency officials have cleared the crash scene near Box Canyon. 

BC Ambulance Service says there were seven patients involved in the collision, with one being airlifted in critical condition to a Lower Mainland hospital, while six others were transported by ground in stable condition.

A total of 11 ground ambulances and two helicopters were sent to the scene.

Constable Melissa Wutke, spokesperson for BC RCMP Traffic Services told CFJC Today in a news release, “A commercial transport vehicle traveling southbound on highway 5 apparently was unable to stop, and collided with 13 other vehicles." 

Norm Draeger witnessed the aftermath of the accident and told CFJC Today that it appears that a semi-truck lost its brakes and barreled down the hill, in the westbound lanes, near Box Canyon.

"The traffic was stopped because of construction, going westbound. It looks like he lost his brakes, and hit 20-30 cars. There was wrecked vehicles all over, people all over the road. It was just a mess," said Draeger.

Drive BC recommended alternate routes via Highway 8 and Highway 97C.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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