Salmon Arm  

Major semi pileup near Sicamous closed Trans-Canada overnight

Lucky nobody died

UPDATE: 7:55 a.m.

A major crash that closed the Trans-Canada Highway west of Sicamous overnight involved six vehicles, RCMP say.

Police from Sicamous and Salmon Arm, paramedics and the Eagle Valley Rescue Society responded about 6:30 p.m. to the collision 10 kilometres west of Sicamous.

The collision involved two semi-tractor trailer units, three pickups and a SUV.

Police believe a westbound semi hauling a trailer loaded with grocery product crossed a double solid line, after the driver failed to safely negotiate a turn. Heavy brake marks at the scene extended about 50 metres, beginning in the westbound lane and crossing into the oncoming lane, says Sgt. Murray McNeil.

The semi then flipped on its side and skidded down the highway for another 50 metres before it finally came to rest after striking an eastbound semi. The big rig also hit three eastbound pickups and one eastbound SUV, causing extensive damage.

The wreckage blocked both lanes of the highway, closing it until early this morning.

The driver of the westbound semi, a 32-year-old Calgary man was taken to hospital with what police believe to be non-life-threatening injuries. Three other adults were also taken to hospital.

Police suspect speed may have been a contributing factor in the pileup. Weather, road conditions, and visibility were all excellent at the time of the collision. Police charged the driver with crossing a double solid line under the BC Motor Vehicle Act.

The narrow, two-lane section of highway has a rock wall on one side and a steep drop on the other, says McNeil. 

"It is extremely fortunate that this collision did not result in multiple fatalities considering the length the truck travelled before finally coming to a stop and the extent of the damage sustained to all the impacted vehicles."

Witnesses are asked to call Sicamous RCMP at 250-836-2878.

UPDATE: Thursday 6 a.m.

DriveBC reports the collision, which involved two semis and blocked all lanes of Highway 1 west of Sicamous, was cleared as of 2:45 a.m. this morning.

ORIGINAL: Wednesday 7:45 p.m.

DriveBC reports a portion of Highway 1 is closed in both directions due to a multi-vehicle incident. 

All lanes are currently blocked between Bernie Rd and Old Sicamous Rd, three kilometres west of Sicamous.

Motorists are asked to watch for traffic control, and detours are in effect via Hwy 97 A / Hwy 97 B.  

DriveBC estimates an update will be provided at 10 p.m. Wednesday. 

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