RCMP pictured at a motor vehicle incident during snowy conditions. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)

Semi trucks collide, passenger dies in Coquihalla collision

Coquihalla southbound lanes were closed overnight following collision

A 38-year-old has died as a result of a crash on Highway 5 between two semi-trailer trucks, four kilometers south of Merritt.

It was previously reported that the southbound lanes on Highway 5 were closed for approximately 14 hours, after the collision at 4 p.m. Feb. 17.

According to RCMP, the collision occurred after two semi trailer trucks, travelling in the southbound lanes, collided while climbing a hill.

Authorities believe one of the commercial trucks was travelling at relatively slow speeds in the right hand lane. The second vehicle collided with the rear of the first while attempting to overtake on the left.

“The damage caused to the passenger compartment of the cab associated to the overtaking commercial vehicle was described by investigators as catastrophic. Tragically a co-driver, believed to be in the tractor’s sleeper, was ejected from the cabin and was pronounced deceased at the scene,” said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey with BC Southeast District RCMP, Feb. 18 morning.

Both drivers attempted to save the life of the 38-year-old passenger. The drivers were taken to hospital for precautionary reasons.

The BC Coroners Service will not be releasing the name of the deceased.

If you witnessed this crash and have not yet spoken to police, or you have dash camera footage of the collision, you are asked to call the Merritt RCMP at 250-378-4262.

READ MORE: UPDATE: Highway 5 southbound moving again following vehicle incident

READ MORE: Abbotsford woman awakened by man trying to climb onto her balcony with stolen ladder

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: phil.mclachlan@kelownacapnews.com


 

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