UPDATE: Coquihalla shut down in both directions between Hope and Merritt | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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UPDATE: Coquihalla shut down in both directions between Hope and Merritt

A travel advisory has been issued for the Coquihalla Highway between Merritt and Hope, Monday, Dec. 18, 2017.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Drive B.C.
December 18, 2017 - 4:19 PM

KAMLOOPS - The Coquihalla Highway is closed between Merritt and Hope, and a travel advisory has been issued for the route thanks to heavy snowfall and poor driving conditions.

B.C. RCMP traffic services say in a news release the highway is shut down in both directions between Hope and Merritt due to several vehicle incidents along the route, although none are believed to be fatal.

"The weather conditions are currently poor and expected to worsen overnight as a major winter storm moves through the area," Const. Mike Halskov says in the release. "If you must travel, avoid Highway 5 until further notice."

Drivers are being asked todetour on Highway 1 or Highway 3 as it's not yet known when the Coquihalla will reopen.

Police say to ensure your vehicle is well-maintained and has proper winter tires, pack extra clothing and food, give yourself extra time and expect winter driving conditions.

"Slow down, give yourself extra room to stop or take evasive action – take care so you and yours arrive safely at your destination this Christmas," Halskov says.

Earlier this afternoon Highway 5 southbound was closed after a crash near Exit 286 at the Coldwater Interchange south of Merritt, according to Drive B.C. It has since reopened.

Nine people were injured and B.C. Emergency Health Services says three ambulances were sent to an incident.

The service says in a news release three people were taken to hospital in stable condition, but no details were available on the other six said to be hurt or the number of vehicles involved.

The Ministry of Transportation has issued a travel advisory for Highway 5 between Hope and Merritt because of heavy snowfall expected on mountain passes until Wednesday. 

For the most current information about road conditions in B.C. and the closure on Highway 5 go the Drive B.C. website here.

Follow the Provincial Health Services Authority on Twitter for real-time updates.

If you have information on the crash, please share it in the comments below. Please send photos to news@infonews.ca.

Image Credit: DRIVE B.C.

— With files from The Canadian Press

— This story was updated at 1:44 p.m., Monday, Dec. 18, 2017 to include updates from Drive B.C.

— This story was updated at 3:49 p.m., Monday, Dec. 18, 2017 to include an update on the number of people injuried in the crash.

— This story was updated at 4:06 p.m., Monday, Dec. 18, 2017 to include new information from B.C. RCMP.


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