The Coquihalla Highway between Kamloops and Merritt has been re-opened after major accidents sent eight people to hospital on Monday morning.
According to DriveBC, several crashes were reported at 11:40 a.m. on a stretch of Highway 5 north of Merritt. There were reports of a freak hailstorm and icy roads on the Coquihalla and emergency crews were dispatched to the scene.
“Five ambulances responded — from Merritt, Logan Lake and Kamloops — and an air-ambulance helicopter to an area on Highway 5, near the Lac Le Jeune turnoff,” B.C. Emergency Health Services spokeswoman Shannon Miller said.
“Paramedics cared for patients in two separate motor-vehicle incidents, about 100 yards from each other on the highway. Eight patients were transported to hospital, including one in serious condition who was airlifted from the scene.”
The highway was closed in both directions near Exit 286 for more than two hours. It was re-opened at 2 p.m., but Drive BC was warning drivers to expect delays of up to 90 minutes due to congestion.