Pandemic restrictions on travel within the province may have been lifted in BC’s reopening plan, but wildfires have made things unpredictable.

Anyone traveling by road in British Columbia this summer should take note of evacuation alerts and orders due to British Columbia wildfires, as well as smoke from wildfires affecting visibility, marking DriveBC Y BC Wildfire Service websites or social media accounts.

Additionally, a car accident yesterday on the Coquihalla Highway, between Merritt and Hope, BC, left four people injured and one person dead.

BC RCMP stated that around 8:30 a.m. on July 17, first responders received reports of a serious single-vehicle rollover collision in the southbound lanes of Coquihalla Highway 5, south of Portia Brake Check.

After the collision, the southbound lanes from Coquihalla were temporarily closed, causing “major congestion,” according to DriveBC.

Hope RCMP, BC Highway Patrol Chilliwack and medical teams arrived at the scene to find “a badly damaged gray Mazda CX-9 on its side,” according to BC RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey.

Two adults and two children had suffered “varying degrees of injuries, all serious and many considered life-threatening in nature,” O’Donaghey said.

BC Emergency Health Services transported the two adults from the crash site, while BC Air Ambulance transported one of the two critically ill children to BC Children’s Hospital. The other boy was taken to an area hospital with serious bodily injuries that were believed not to endanger his life.

A woman in her 70s, who was the fifth occupant of the vehicle, was pronounced dead at the scene.

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The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the older woman’s death.

Meanwhile, BC Highway Patrol Chilliwack is conducting an investigation into the collision. BC RCMP is not releasing the identities of the people involved in this accident.

Anyone who has witnessed this accident or who may have dash cam footage relevant to this incident should contact BC Highway Patrol Chilliwack at 604-702-4039.

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