SUV exploded into flames

Alanna Kelly

Two men from Kamloops were travelling to Vancouver to catch a flight to Vietnam, but got in a collision in Vancouver, injuring them both and canceling the trip.

A friend picked them up, and they were driving home on the Coquihalla, Monday, when their luck got even worse.

“A bearing inside the motor had caught fire and was burning underneath,” said Darren Degenhardt, father of one of the men. “They lost their brakes. He tried to slam into reverse, and he couldn’t.”

The men pulled their belongings out of the hatch and got clear just as – "poof, the gas tank blew,” said Degenhardt.

“If they were another 30 seconds ... someone could have really got hurt.”

Degenhardt said there was previously a recall on the motor in the SUV.

The fire caused traffic to back up near the Coldwater exit just before 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Degenhardt said he warned his son that he'd better stay inside for the next few days.

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