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Crash turns fatal on 97C

7:40 a.m. update July 26:

A 75-year-old male is dead following a crash on Hwy. 97C yesterday afternoon.

At 3:45 p.m. RCMP from the Central Interior Traffic Services unit Merritt, B.C. Ambulance and Merritt Fire Rescue attended to the report of a two vehicle collision on Highway 97C in the west bound lanes on the Loon Lake Hill, west of the Elkhart brake check. 

Early investigation has determined that a west bound pickup truck with one male occupant ran into the rear of a west bound commercial vehicle proceeding down a grade on the Loon Lake hill. Both vehicles were moving when the collision occurred.
The 75-year-old driver of the pickup truck, who lives in the BC Interior, was extricated and transported to Kelowna General Hospital by BC Air Ambulance where he succumbed to his injuries.
There were no injuries to the driver of the commercial vehicle.
Roads were bare and dry at the time of the collision. Visibility was clear and unobstructed.

The RCMP is now assisting the BC Coroners Service with this investigation.
The RCMP are asking if you witnessed this collision and have not spoken to a police officer, please contact; Constable Tammy Denning of the Central Interior Traffic Services Unit in Merritt @ 250-378-4262.

7:20 p.m. update July 25:

Witnesses are saying traffic is moving again.

According to DriveBC, there is still a partial lane closure in effect. 

It asks for caution from drivers as emergency crews are still on site.

According to DriveBC, the westbound lane on the Okanagan Connector is closed about 1.5km east of the Loon Lake Road exit.

The road is closed due to a two vehicle collision.

According to witnesses the crash involved a semi and a GMC Sierra.

Witnesses say the driver of the pickup appeared to be elderly.

Police and BC Ambulance personnel are on the scene.

A medivac helicopter is also on the scene.

It is estimated the highway will re-open sometime between 7:30 and 11:30 p.m. Friday.

There is no detour available.



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