Photo: CTV - Curtis Allen
RCMP say the crash occurred just before 6:30 Wednesday night when a tour bus hit a jackknifed transport truck, and another semi-trailer and at least two cars rammed the wreckage.
Witness Guillaume Allard says the incident actually began when the first big rig clipped an SUV, and the semi driver was out of his truck and talking with the other driver when he was hit by the northbound bus.
Allard says a logging truck then slammed into the back of the bus, carrying that vehicle and the truck driver at least 15 metres down the very slushy and icy highway.
Allard believes the truck driver suffered at least a broken leg but RCMP say all other injuries, including those among the estimated 35 seniors aboard the tour bus, were minor, although B.C. Ambulance reports 22 people were treated at the scene and five have critical injuries.
The accident happened near the Inks Lake Road turn-off on the Coquihalla about 15 km south of Kamloops.
Mounties say further details about the collision are expected to be released later today.
The highway is open to single lane traffic. (CHNL)
Here are our reports from last night
Update 10 p.m. Nov. 21: BC Ambulance reports 5 patients are in critical condition at Royal Inland Hospital, 22 others have lesser, non life-threatening, injuries. DriveBC says one lane is open.
A major accident on the Coquihalla at the Inks Lake turn-off, near Kamloops, has emergency crews scrambling.
Witnesses report that a semi, a charter bus and several cars have crashed into each other.
Poor weather conditions are hampering the rescue.
There is unconfirmed reports that a truck driver was struck when he got out of his rig to check on the accident.
As of 7:30 p.m. several ambulances were on the scene taking at least three people to hospital.
We do not know how serious the injuries are or if more will have to be transported to hospital.
The northbound lanes of the highway are blocked off. DriveBC says the road could be closed until midnight.
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