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4 wildfire fighters killed in Highway 1 crash near Ashcroft

Four people were killed in the head-on collision

Four BC Wildfire Service sub-contractors have been killed in a head-on crash on Highway 1 between Savona and Cache Creek.

RCMP said the crash happened on Sep. 19 at approximately 2 a.m., one kilometre west of Juniper Beach Provincial Park near Walhachin.

According to Corp. James Grandy, B.C. RCMP Southeast District, when emergency crews arrived on scene a semi-tractor trailer involved in the collision had caught fire.

“All four occupants of the second vehicle, a Ford F-350 pick-up truck, succumbed to their injuries and were pronounced deceased at the scene,” said Corp. Grandy.

The driver of the semi-truck was able to escape before the vehicle was engulfed in flames.

The crew was traveling home from assisting with fire suppression efforts near Vanderhoof.

“This year has been particularly challenging for the BC Wildfire Service, with several of its members facing injuries or losing their lives,” added Grandy. “Our thoughts are with the friends and family of those who help keep our province safe.”

Premier David Eby and Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests released a statement in response to the deaths.

“This is devastating news in what has been an immensely difficult wildfire season. We stand with wildfire fighters and all BC Wildfire Service personnel as they mourn the death of colleagues and co-workers yet again.”

“Firefighters are on the front lines in so many parts of B.C., creating hope from despair and working tirelessly to save lives and livelihoods. Words cannot express the depth of our gratitude.”

Initial investigation determined the pick-up truck failed to navigate a bend in the road, crossed the centre line, and collided with the semi-truck.

However, the investigation is continuing to determine the cause of the collision.

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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Journalist and broadcaster for three decades.
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