A 49-year-old Salmon Arm man died following a series of accidents on the Coquihalla Highway south of Merritt yesterday evening.

The man had stopped to offer assistance to others.

“The first accident occurred when a small car collided with a northbound commercial vehicle,” Cpl. Chris Manseau wrote in a news release. “This collision caused no injuries and all persons involved were exchanging information at the roadside.”

Two additional vehicles then approached the scene causing a chain reaction of collisions.

“The driver and passenger who were standing roadside from the initial collision were seriously injured and flown by BC Air Ambulance to a local hospital,” wrote Manseau.

The Salmon Arm man — who had stopped to offer his assistance — was pronounced dead at the scene by BC Emergency Health Services.  Several other vehicle passengers were treated at scene for their injuries.

Highway 5 was closed in both directions for several hours and has since reopened.