Thirteen people were injured Monday morning following a multi-vehicle crash on Highway 1 just west of Herrling Island.
The crash involved five or six vehicles, including three large trucks – one that scattered its load of lumber across the highway.
According to BC RCMP Traffic Services, police had responded to a report of a stalled van in the left shoulder. “As this was a road safety hazard,” said Cpl. Ronda Rempel, “a member arrived on scene to assist the driver and mitigate any chance of a collision.” All occupants of the van were out of the vehicle.
Preliminary information suggests a westbound vehicle, travelling in the fast lane braked suddenly to avoid colliding with the stopped police car, which at the time had all of its emergency lights flashing. This abrupt stop caused a second vehicle, also in the fast lane to hit the first vehicle which in turn struck the police car from behind. A third vehicle then hit the second vehicle.
Within moments, a commercial truck took evasive action to avoid the first 4 vehicles, flipped on its side spilling its load of lumber all over the roadway. A fifth vehicle then hit the truck or the debris and came to a stop. A sixth and final vehicle, a large moving van flipped after the driver panicked in an effort to avoid the collision. The van luckily did not make contact with the other vehicles.
“There is limited information on the vehicles, number of occupants or extent of injuries at this time,” said Cpl. Rempel.
Fraser Valley Traffic Services is managing this chaotic scene with support from Hope RCMP, Department of Highways, BC Ambulance Service, Hope Fire Rescue and local area tow trucks.
There are several contributing factors; such as location, weather affecting the road condition and speed being looked at as potential causes of this multi-vehicle collision. Cpl. Rempel reminds drivers to slow down, keep your distance and be prepared to make a sudden stop at any time. You never know what obstacle you may be presented with and when you travel at a slower speed you have more time to react.
The westbound lane was closed throughout the day as crews cleared the mess.
The highway was expected to reopen sometime between 3-5 p.m.
Westbound traffic was being rerouted to Highway 7 at Hope, causing some delay at the Rosedale Bridge and Highway 9.
It’s not believe any of the injuries were serious, although at least four people were taken to Chilliwack General Hospital.