Changing conditions causes crashes

By on October 12, 2017
The view from the Zopkios Rest Area, near the Coquihalla Summit looking north (elevation: 1208 metres) at 10:00 a.m. on Oct. 12. (Photo courtesy of DriveBC.)


Winter road conditions are already causing headaches for drivers around the region, as Merritt Fire Rescue responded to four accidents in a 24-hour span since Wednesday afternoon.

Fire chief Dave Tomkinson said the crashes were largely the result of people not driving to road conditions, especially on high elevation roads like Highway 5 between Merritt and Kamloops.

Merritt RCMP confirmed that nobody was seriously hurt in any of the collisions, and nobody required extrication from their vehicles, said Tomkinson. Three crashes occurred on Highway 5 north of Merritt, while the other occurred near the Comstock interchange south of Merritt.

DriveBC’s webcams indicated there was a light dusting of snow at higher elevations on the Coquihalla Highway on Oct. 11, while more flurries were forecasted for the coming days.

Routes which require winter tires or chains from Oct. 1 to March 31. (Photo courtesy of the B.C. Government).

Tomkinson urged drivers to be aware of changing road conditions in the region.

“Watch out for roadside workers. Make sure that you are slowing down and giving tow truck drivers, police, paramedics and firefighters room to work,” added the fire chief.

As of Oct. 1, all vehicles travelling on specific highways throughout the province must be equipped with winter tires. In the Nicola Valley, those routes include Highway 5, Highway 5A, Highway 97C and Highway 8.

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