Fatal Crash in Sudden Storm
Weather can change in an instant on the Coquihalla as drivers learned Sunday after a sudden, heavy snowfall south of Merritt caused multiple car crashes and killing one person.
R-C-M-P say a northbound vehicle also lost control and veered across the median, hitting the woman as she was getting out of her vehicle. The woman died at the scene.
Sergeant Mike Pears says an RCMP cruiser was hit from behind as it reached the scene, causing another four car pile-up and, in all, 10 people were hurt and were taken to hospitals in Merritt and Kamloops.
The Coquihalla was closed most of the day opening southbound at seven-thirty Sunday night and northbound at 11 p-m finally allow a lot of stranded motorists to finally get going.
A Kamloops man who managed to escape the mayhem on the Coquihalla says road conditions changed in a heartbeat. Steve Hamilton says he was driving north with his daughters, travelling as speeds of 120 to 130, when all of a sudden there was wet, heavy snow and freezing-rain.
Within moments he says cars were flying out of control and all he could do was swerve to avoid other vehicles and shout to his children to hang on. Hamilton says the road was completely bare just a kilometre later, but he was still shaking hours after getting home and says no one should let their guard down when driving the Coquihalla.