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Fatal crash on the Coquihalla

(An Air Ambulance was used to take an 86-year-old to hospital from a crash on the Coquihalla Wednesday)

UPDATE JAN 9 4:00 P.M.

The BC Coroners Service has confirmed the identity of a woman who died after her car was struck on the Coquihalla Highway near Merritt on Jan. 8, 2014.

She was Gayle Alverna Ashforth, 85, from Calgary, Alberta.

Ms. Ashforth was the front-seat passenger in the SUV that was struck head on by a forestry chip truck on the Coquihalla Highway near the Mine Creek exit south of Merritt.

Road conditions were icy at the time and Ms. Ashforth was found deceased at the scene of the collision.

The condition of the male driver of the SUV is still unknown after he was listed as critical yesterday after being taken away by air ambulance.

The BC Coroners Service and RCMP Traffic Services continue to investigate this death.


The accident that closed the Coquihalla southbound for most of the day has turned tragic. Merritt RCMP confirm an 85-year-old woman died at the scene. The driver, an 86-year-old male, was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries.

At 9:18 a.m. emergency personal were called to a two vehicle collision 52 kilometres south of Merritt on Highway 5.

RCMP say a unloaded commercial unit or semi-truck was heading northbound when the driver lost control.

The semi-truck crossed the centre median and entered the southbound lane striking an SUV head on.

The woman’s name is being withheld pending notification of her family.

Central Interior Traffic Services continue to investigate the incident.

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