West Kelowna  

Life-threatening injuries

UPDATE 10:10 a.m.

Two men are in hospital following a serious crash in downtown Westbank in the early hours of Friday morning. 

At about 1:25 a.m., an RCMP officer inside the West Kelowna RCMP detachment heard a loud explosion across Dobbin Road. 

"The officer rushed outside to investigate and discovered a large blaze along the highway which led over an embankment to a severely damaged older red Honda Civic in the field below," said Cpl. Jesse O'Donaghey.

A 26-year-old Vancouver man, believed to be the driver of the car, was ejected 15 metres in the crash, while the 32-year-old passenger from West Kelowna was extracted from the car using the Jaws of Life. 

Both men remain in hospital with what police believe are life-threatening injuries. 

The highway was closed through the morning, reopening at 8 a.m.

The crash also knocked out power in the area, but power has since been restored. 

Police have yet to talk to anyone who witnessed the crash. They are urging anyone who did see the crash to come forward. 

"Early indications might be that speed may have played a role in this and we continue to determine whether or not alcohol may have been a factor," said O'Donaghey.

UPDATE 8:01 a.m.

Highway 97 has reopened in the northbound direction.

The road reopened three kilometres north of the junction with Highway 97C, just before 8 a.m. Friday morning.

UPDATE 6:27 a.m.

A serious crash has closed the northbound lanes of Highway 97 approximately three kilometres north of the junction with the Connector, close to downtown Westbank.

A Castanet reader says the incident occurred between Old Okanagan Road and Gellatly Road on Highway 97. Expect delays as that part of the highway is one-way.

The incident occurred around 1:30 Friday morning. Emergency crews have been working to restore power and a detour has been set up. You're advised to look for an alternate route using Old Okanagan Highway and Gosset Road.

Residents in West Kelowna have been without power since the incident. As many as 2400 BC Hydro customers in West Kelowna were without power much of the night, there are still almost a thousand households without power.

BC Hydro has indicated they are working to restore power by 9:30 a.m.

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