Several motorists were lucky to escape with their lives after a six-vehicle collision — including two semi trucks —on the Trans-Canada Highway Wednesday evening (July 15) west of Sicamous, say RCMP.
“This narrow two lane section of the highway has a rock wall on the eastbound ditch and a steep drop behind the concrete barrier on the western ditch,” said Sgt. Murray McNeil of the accident site, located about 10 kilometres west of Sicamous.
“It is extremely fortunate that this collision did not result in multiple fatalities considering the length the truck traveled before finally coming to a stop and the extent of the damage sustained to all the impacted vehicles.”
At 6:30 p.m., Sicamous and Salmon Arm RCMP responded along with BC Emergency Health Services and the Eagle Valley Rescue Society to the collision which involved two semi-tractor trailer units, three pickup trucks and a SUV.
McNeil said police believe a westbound semi hauling a trailer loaded with grocery product crossed a double solid line, after the driver failed to safely negotiate a turn in the highway.
Investigators observed heavy brake marks at the scene, approximately 50 meters in length, which began in the westbound lane of the highway and then crossed the double solid line into the oncoming lane.
The semi-tractor trailer unit then flipped onto its side and skidded down the highway for another 50 meters before it finally came to rest after striking an eastbound semi.
The semi-truck and trailer also impacted three eastbound pickup trucks and one eastbound SUV causing extensive damage to the three pickups, said police..
The wreckage, which blocked both lanes of the Trans-Canada Highway and resulted in a closure and detour route, has since been cleared.
The driver of the westbound semi, a 32-year-old Calgary man was taken to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services with what police believe to be non-life threatening injuries. Three other adults were also transported by ambulance to hospital, all suffering from non-life threatening injuries.
Although no evidence was found to suggest that impairment was a factor in the crash, investigators suspect speed may have been a contributing factor to the collision. Weather, road conditions, and visibility were all excellent at the time of the collision. Police charged the driver with crossing a double solid line under the BC Motor Vehicle Act.
If you witnessed this crash and have not yet spoken to police you are asked to call the Sicamous RCMP at 250-836-2878.
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