A crash yesterday involving two semi trucks on the Coquihalla Highway near Merritt has killed one person and shuttered the highway overnight. In a press release, Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey of the Southeast District said a 38-eight-year-old person, believed to be in a sleeper cab (compartment or area attached to the semi-truck used for rest during long hauls), was ejected from the vehicle as a result of the crash and pronounced dead at the scene.
Merritt RCMP and emergency crews attended the crash near Merritt on Wednesday afternoon, at about 4 p.m. Witnesses told police both semi-trucks were travelling in the southbound lanes, climbing a hill. One of the semi-trucks was travelling slowly in the right hand lane, when the second vehicle attempted to pass it on the left, but rear-ended the vehicle. O’Donaghey described damage to the passenger compartment as “catastrophic.”
The two semi-truck drivers tried to provide life-saving measures on scene before they were both transported to hospital.
The southbound lanes of the Coquihalla Highway, between Merritt and Hope, were shuttered overnight south of Merritt and reopened on Thursday morning.
Police and BC Coroner’s Service are investigating.
A collision analyst and reconstructionist services are aiding police in the investigation.
If anyone witnessed the crash or has dash camera footage, they are asked to contact Merritt RCMP by calling 250-378-4262.