Penticton & South Okanagan News
Hwy. 3 reopens one lane
Update 6 a.m. July 3: DriveBC is reporting the highway is still only open to alternating traffic on a single lane.
UPDATE 9 P.M.: According to DriveBC, Highway 3 has now partially reopened to single lane alternating traffic.
UPDATE 7:15 P.M.:
Highway 3 is closed in both direction about 11 kilometers west of Osoyoos following an accident late this afternoon involving two semi-trailers.
According to an RCMP officer at the scene the cleanup and re-opening of the highway will likely “take hours.”
The officer said the accident occurred at about 5:30 on a straight section of the highway when an empty west-bound semi rear-ended another truck loaded with lumber.
The driver of the empty semi was taken to hospital, likely in Kelowna, by air ambulance with undetermined injuries.
RCMP Cst. Kris Clark says the driver suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Flames at the accident site ignited a brush fire on the north side of the highway. A BC Forestry Service airplane dropped fire retardant attempting to extinguish the blaze.
Kayla Pepper, a spokeswoman with the province's Wildfire Management Branch, says the fire is about two hectares in size, and the Kamloops Fire Centre has sent two, three-person initial-attack crews plus a response officer, one helicopter, and two water tenders, which are used to haul water into the area.
Also battling the fire are air tankers from Kamloops and Penticton, she said, noting the fixed-wing aircraft drop retardant on the perimeter of fire.
Osoyoos Volunteer Fire Department were on site to battle the fire involving the trucks and cargo.
Highways personnel were stopping vehicles headed west at the industrial park just west of the town and advising them of the delay and suggesting a detour up Highway 97 to Kaleden and Penticton.
-With files from Canadian Press
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Highway 3 is closed in both directions following a collision involving two semi-trucks.
The collision occurred sometime after 5 p.m. about 9km west of Osoyoos.
Witnesses at the scene say an empty semi crashed into the back of a full semi.
A fireball erupted causing nearby brush to catch fire.
Reports indicate the driver of the empty rig was medi-vaced from the scene.
A bomber from the Ministry of Forests was called in to drop retardant onto the fire.
According to DriveBC, a detour is available via Highway 3 & 97 in Osoyoos, and Hwy 3a from Keremeos to Kaleden and Penticton.
More details when they become available.
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