Sudden snowfall causes multiple crashes on Coquihalla, killing 1 and injuring 10

One dead, 10 hurt in Coquihalla crashes

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — Ten people were hurt and one woman died on B.C.’s Coquihalla Highway in a series of crashes on Sunday blamed on a sudden snow squall.

Witnesses described rounding a bend just south of Merritt at highway speeds to see the route obscured by heavy, wet snow.

RCMP Sgt. Mike Pears says the woman was killed after skidding into the centre median and being hit by a second vehicle that was sliding as she got out to inspect damage to her car.

Pears says a police cruiser responding to the first accident was rear-ended by another car, resulting in a chain-reaction crash involving four vehicles.

One driver who managed to weave through the damaged vehicles on the highway says the road was completely bare just one kilometre north.

The collisions closed Highway 5 for hours, but traffic was moving again before midnight. (CHNL, CFJC)

The Canadian Press