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

An officer collects forensic evidence from a police SUV following the July 18, 2015 incident that ended in the police-shooting death of Hudson Brooks in South Surrey. (File photo)
Experts discuss toxicology, use-of-force at inquest into fatal 2015 police shooting in South Surrey

Proceedings could lead to recommendations for preventing similar deaths

Longtime Earl Marriott Secondary rugby coach Adam Roberts said he’s concerned that young athletes are losing motivation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has cancelled high-school sports seasons since last spring. (Janice Croze photo)
COVID-19: Stress, lack of activity a consequence of pandemic

‘There’s nothing really driving’ students right now, says South Surrey rugby coach

Photo: Surrey RCMP
Surrey RCMP arrests two boys, age 16, during dial-a-dope investigation in Whalley

Sergeant Elenore Sturko said one boy is ‘alleged to have been in possession of a loaded handgun at the time of his arrest’

(Photo: junioreinsteinsacademy.ca)
Nearly 300 new child-care spaces coming to Surrey

Provincial funding to benefit five centres

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
7 Surrey schools reporting possible COVID-19 exposures; no variants reported overnight

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon speaks in the B.C. legislature, describing work underway to make a small business and tourism aid package less restrictive, Dec. 10, 2020. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends deadline for tourism, small business COVID-19 grants

Business owners expect months more of lost revenues

Anti-pipeline protests continue in Greater Vancouver, with the latest happening Thursday, March 4 at a Trans Mountain construction site in Burnaby. (Facebook/Laurel Dykstra)
A dozen faith-based protestors blockade Burnaby Trans Mountain site in prayer

The group arrived early Thursday, planning to ‘block any further work’

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

Mid day at the Vancouver Port Intersection blockade on March 3, organized by the Braided Warriors. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
Anti-pipeline blockade at Vancouver intersection broken up by police

Demonstraters were demanding the release of a fellow anti-TMX protester

(Government of B.C.)
Backcountry skiers are dwarfed by the mountains as they make their way along a mountain ridge near McGillivray Pass Lodge located in the southern Chilcotin Mountains of British Columbia, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012. Avalanche Canada has issued a special warning to people who use the backcountry in the mountains of western Alberta and eastern British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Avalanche Canada special warning for mountains in western Alberta, eastern B.C.

Avalanche Canada also says everyone in a backcountry party needs essential rescue gear

A recently finished $4.3-million taxiway extension at the Victoria International Airport (not pictured) is unusable because of a blind spot. (Black Press Media file photo)
Blind spot leaves Victoria airport’s new $4.3-million taxiway extension unusable

Solution has been put on hold by COVID-19 pandemic, says airport authority

The City of Vancouver estimates there are 3,500 Canada geese in the city right now, and that number is growing. (Bruce Hogarth)
Help tame Vancouver’s Canada goose population by reporting nests: park officials

The city is asking residents to be on the lookout so staff can remove nests or addle eggs

Most Read