Fatal crash on the Coquihalla Highway south of Merritt | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Fatal crash on the Coquihalla Highway south of Merritt

Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
October 28, 2017 - 2:06 PM

MERRITT - Alcohol may be a factor in a fatal accident on the Coquihalla Highway near Merritt this morning.

Merritt RCMP says in a news release they were notified of a car crash around 1 a.m. today, Oct. 28, and responded along with Merritt Fire Rescue and B.C. Ambulance.

The Central Interior Traffic Services unit from Merritt was called out to the scene and investigators confirmed that a northbound Volvo was driving in the wrong lane when it crashed into a southbound tractor trailer unit that was overtaking another commercial vehicle.

"The commercial vehicle that was being overtaken went off road right and managed to stay upright," Central Interior Traffic Services Sgt Mike Pears said in the release. "The tractor trailer unit that was passing although trying to avoid the collision with the car was not able to and the car impacted the front of the tractor unit which resulted in the death of the driver who was the lone occupant of the (Volvo)."

The drivers of the commercial vehicles sustained non-life-threatening injuries and the tractor unit of that vehicle, which was struck head-on, caught on fire.

The RCMP did not release any information about the man that died except that they believe he is from the Lower Mainland area.

Investigators are looking at alcohol as a factor and say that at the time of the accident, the roads and weather were good.

It is not known why the driver of the car was traveling the wrong way on the Coquihalla Highway.

Pears says the RCMP are looking for anyone who has not spoken to the police that saw a grey Volvo station wagon travelling from Hope to Juliette Creek between the hours of 10 p.m. on Oct. 27 to approximately 1 a.m. today. You're asked to call the Central Interior Traffic Services unit in Merritt at 250-378-4262.

The RCMP and B.C. Coroners Service continue to investigate the circumstances of this collision. The Coquihalla Highway has re-opened to traffic.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Taylor Rae or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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