UPDATE 8:20 a.m.: Highway 1 has reopened in both directions following an accident that has left one man dead and another person in hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
At approximately 2:40 p.m. on Jan. 6, police and emergency services responded to a collision on Highway 1 approximately five kilometres north of Hope near American Creek. It was snowing, and the road was described as slushy.
Upon arrival, it was determined that a northbound vehicle driven by a man in his 70s from northern B.C. crossed into the southbound lanes, where it collided with a southbound tanker truck carrying diesel fuel. As a result of the collision, the driver of the car died at the scene. The driver of the tanker truck was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The RCMP Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Service, BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, and Commercial Vehicle and Safety Enforcement officers attended the scene to investigate the cause of the crash. A HAZMAT team was called in to assist with recovery of the diesel fuel from the tanker truck and clean up of the scene. There were no reports of any fuel spillage from the tanker into the surrounding environment.
The highway was closed for more than 12 hours while crews worked to recover fuel from the tanker and gather evidence at the scene. At this time, impairment does not appear to be a contributing factor. Police remind motorists to exercise caution when driving in inclement weather, ensure your vehicle is equipped with winter tires, and drive according to road and weather conditions, which may mean driving below posted speed limits.
Fraser Valley Traffic Services (FVTS) is continuing to investigate this collision. Anyone with information about this crash who has yet to speak with police is asked to call FVTS in Chilliwack at (604) 702-4039.
UPDATE: 5:36 p.m.: DriveBC has now announced that Highway 1 will not re-open until Tuesday, Jan. 7. A time is not listed.
UPDATE 5:15 p.m.: DriveBC is now saying that the estimated time of reopening for Highway 1 will be midnight on Monday.
Check the DriveBC website at www.drivebc.ca for updates.
UPDATE 4:45 p.m.: A tanker truck that has gone off the road on Highway 1 near American Creek between Hope and Boston Bar has closed the highway in both directions.
“I can’t confirm one way or the other about the nature of any injuries or fatalities,” says RCMP Cpl. Mike Halskov, Media Relations Officer, E Division Traffic Services. “I don’t know the condition of the driver or if other vehicles were involved.”
Halskov says that the tanks are not leaking, but crews at the site are concerned about a small leak from the saddle tanks on each side of the tractor unit. The incident has also affected the CN and CP rail lines in the area.
Halskov says that there is no estimated time for the highway reopening.
“I imagine it will be some time, to allow for vehicle recovery. I’m guessing they will have to bring in an empty tanker to pump out the affected tanker, and that will take some time. Any detour will be via Highway 3 or Highway 5, but both are under winter storm warnings.”
He says that it’s a challenging time on the highways, and advises people who don’t have to travel to stay where they are.
“It’s better to get there late than not at all. The people waiting for you on the other end would be happier to know you’re safe and sound where you are, and not travelling due to weather, rather than worry about you travelling.”
Highway 1 is closed between Hope and Boston Bar in both directions due to a vehicle incident which occurred just before 3 p.m. Monday.
An assessment is in progress, and there is no estimated time of reopening. Drivers using this route can expect delays and congestion.
Highway 5 is suggested as an alternative route from Hope to Merritt, but a winter storm warning has been issued for this route due to heavy snow that is expected later today, followed by a risk of freezing rain later this evening and overnight.
For up-to-date travel information, check the DriveBC website at www.drivebc.ca.