An accident involving two semis closed Highway 1 in both directions west of Chase on Friday, Aug. 31. (Theron Groff photo)

Two-semi collision west of Chase on Aug. 31 claims life

Man sleeping in the bunk of one semi truck died shortly after reaching hospital

A highway accident involving two semi trucks on Friday, Aug. 31 claimed the life of a passenger sleeping in the bunk of one of the trucks.

The crash occurred on the Trans-Canada Highway approximately five kilometres west of Chase.

The Chase RCMP were called to the scene of the collision at approximately 5 a.m.

According to Sgt. Barry Kennedy of the Chase RCMP, the semi that was travelling in the eastbound lane crossed the centre line into the westbound lane; the truck travelling west attempted to avoid the oncoming vehicle by swerving into the eastbound lane but was unsuccessful in preventing a crash.

Related:UPDATE: Trans Canada open west of Chase after crash sends several to hospital

The driver of the eastbound semi suffered a concussion and a broken arm, while a passenger who was asleep in the bunk succumbed to his injures shortly after being taken to Royal Inland Hospital.

The driver of the westbound truck sustained minor head injuries and was also transported to hospital.

Efforts to reopen the highway were frustrated by the contents of the westbound semi; the cooking oil it was carrying is considered a hazardous material requiring a thorough cleanup to prevent it from seeping onto nearby fields.

“The highway was like a skating rink after that spilled,” Kennedy said.

The other truck was carrying general merchandise including vehicle windshields which also had to be cleaned up.

A Central Interior traffic section reconstructionist was on scene to assist with the investigation and the traffic section’s investigation is ongoing.

Drive BC reported the highway reopened at approximately 12:30 p.m. on Aug. 31.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

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