A fatal traffic accident involving two semi-trailers closed Highway 1 at Cornwall Road just after noon on Friday, December 30.
RCMP and the Ashcroft Volunteer Fire Department were quickly on scene, closing the highway. The thick fog that blanketed the area for much of the morning may have been a factor, although it began to clear shortly after the accident occurred.
A witness who was parked in the lot of the nearby Esso Travel Centre told The Journal that he was on the phone when he heard a sound “like a train”. It appeared that a semi heading north on Highway 1 hit the side of another semi which was turning south onto Highway 1 at Cornwall Road. The driver of the northbound semi was reported dead at the scene. The occupants of the other semi did not appear to be seriously injured.
The witness The Journal spoke with said that the cab of the northbound semi, which slid to a halt beside the Travel Centre, was on fire, and he grabbed a fire extinguisher and joined another onlooker in putting out the flames. Other people on site arrived with first aid kits, but there was nothing that could be done to help the driver.
Southbound traffic on Highway 1 from Cache Creek is being diverted down Highway 97C and up Cornwall Road, but the intersection at Highway 1 remains closed at the time of writing. Highway crews are hoping to have the intersection at Highway 1 open, at least partially, by 3:30 p.m. on December 30. Traffic crews at the junction of Highways 97 and 99 near Historic Hat Creek are diverting southbound light vehicles to highways 99 and 12 to Lillooet and Lytton, and large trucks via Highway 1 to Kamloops or Highway 97C to Merritt.
The semi that was turning south onto Highway 1. Photo by Barbara Roden.
A picture taken near the scene of the accident shortly before it happened shows the heavy fog in the area when the accident occurred. Photo by Michael Verkerke.
The back wheels of the semi turning south onto Highway 1 were sheered off in the accident, and ended up approximately 100 feet from the semi. Photo by Barbara Roden.
Part of the debris field on Highway 1 just north of the Cornwall Road intersection. Photo by Barbara Roden.