A crash on the Coquihalla Highway has left one person dead and one person with injuries.
On August 29, 2022 at approximately 6:05 am, Merritt RCMP and Emergency Services responded to a collision in the southbound lanes of Highway 5 near Comstock, south of Merritt.
Upon arrival it was determined that a slow-moving commercial transport truck was rear-ended by a second commercial transport truck which subsequently caught fire in addition to the grass median between the northbound and southbound lanes.
The driver of the slower moving transport truck, a man from Edmonton, was uninjured in the collision. The driver of the second transport truck, a man from Winnipeg, was trapped and died as a result of the collision. The co-driver in the second transport truck, also a man from Winnipeg, extricated himself from the cab but not before sustaining serious, life-threatening injuries.
Highway 5 was closed in both directions for approximately two hours due to the intensity of the fire which completely consumed the second transport truck. Access to the scene for investigation was hampered due to the fire re-igniting. The Merritt Fire Department and the BC Wildfire Service were engaged to monitor the fire to ensure it did not spread to the surrounding area.
The northbound lanes were later opened and the southbound lanes remained closed most of the day as police investigated and crews removed debris from the crash. It was determined that neither transport truck was carrying dangerous goods.
BC Highway Patrol has assumed conduct of the investigation with assistance from Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement officers, the Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Service and the BC Coroners’ Service. The cause of the crash remains under investigation and
nothing has been ruled out.
Anyone with information regarding this collision, including any dashboard camera video, is asked to contact BC Highway Patrol Merritt at 250-378-4262 and cite file 2022-4023. Investigators would like to speak with the person who stopped at the scene, identified themselves as a witness, but did not provide their name or contact information.