UPDATE: Highway 1 westbound is now open at Herrling Island Road after the nearly five hour closure.
Heading from Hope into the valley? Might want to take Lougheed Highway instead of Highway 1.
Around 8:30 a.m. this morning, DriveBC tweeted that a vehicle incident at Herrling Island Road closed the highway for westbound traffic.
Just after noon, DriveBC tweeted that the left lane was now open for westbound traffic.
OPEN – #BCHwy1 – Vehicle incident westbound at Herrling Island Rd has the right lane blocked. The left lane is open. Crews are on scene. Please drive with care and expect heavy delays due to congestion. #HopeBC #BridalFalls #Chilliwackhttps://t.co/IiaM5Aqmbs
— Drive BC (@DriveBC) September 18, 2019
Emergency crews are on scene, and the highway is expected to fully re-open at 2 p.m.
One of the first people on scene was Mike Lammle from Hope, who was taking a Hope Taxi into Chilliwack for a medical appointment. He and the driver noticed a dump truck on its side over the meridian, and decided to stop as others drove by.
“We pulled over just as the driver was coming out the truck,” Lammle said. “He was missing a shoe and disoriented, bleeding.”
After calling 911, they noticed that there was oil pooling on the highway.
“We moved him down to where the cab was,” he said. An Emil Anderson highway truck was the next to stop. But within about five minutes, Lammle guesses, a series of crashes took place. A woman’s car hit the oil patch and slid into the Emil Anderson truck. That pushed a highway worker who was standing there between his truck and the highway meridian. Shortly after, a semi truck hit the woman’s car.
“I had just commented that there was going to be another accident,” Lammle said. “Then she hit the oil and slid.”
Despite the crashes, Lammle said everyone was able to walk afterward, despite injuries. He was impressed that first responders were on scene in what seemed like less than 10 minutes.
A Black Press Media reporter near the scene said that several cars were driving eastbound in the westbound lanes on Highway 1, eventually driving through oncoming traffic. Lammle witnessed that as well, noting about a dozen cars turning around in traffic and causing havoc in both the west and eastbound lanes.
She said it’s likely the vehicle was stuck in the stopped traffic and decided to turn around.
RCMP said they had received several calls about cars driving the wrong way, and were sending someone to deal with it.
– with files from Jessica Peters, Black Press