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Newborn dies after going into suspected cardiac arrest on Coquihalla

Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
March 21, 2017 - 12:35 PM

MERRITT - An Interior family has lost their newborn baby after the two-week old suffered a suspected cardiac arrest on the Coquihalla Highway yesterday.

Merritt RCMP Sgt. Norm Flemming says the family was heading to B.C. Children's hospital in Vancouver, March 20, when the two-week old child went into medical distress.

"The child was with its family and they were on their way to Vancouver," Flemming says. "What occurred... yesterday was unrelated to why they were going to Children's Hospital."

Flemming says because of where the family's vehicle was located on the highway, the road needed to be shut down in both directions to make sure the air ambulance could safely land.

"Unfortunately that required our northbound and southbound drivers to have patience," Flemming says. “There was no accident. Everyone was driving by expecting to see a big crash.”

Flemming says the child died on the way to Royal Inland Hospital.

“It was completely unexpected," Flemming said. "The parents and the family are of course devastated. It’s one of those things that just catches everybody off guard. Our hearts go out to the family… it’s just a tragic incident.”

Drive B.C. issued an alert yesterday, March 21, shortly before 5 p.m. warning drivers that the Coquihalla was closed in both directions between Merritt and Hope at exit 256. It reopened shortly before 6 p.m.


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