West Kelowna  

Stuck for hours

UPDATE: 4:35 p.m.

Commuters were stuck for hours on Highway 97 after a semi-truck jack-knifed between West Kelowna and Peachland.

The crash outside of Gorman Bros. mill blocked traffic both ways from 8 a.m. until noon.

"It slid, got sucked into the ditch, and hit the barricade – pushed it into an oncoming SUV," said witness Dustin Brown.

Police said there were no major injuries.

Brown said it took about 15-20 minutes for paramedics to get through.

Cars were backed up for kilometres, and many people were late for work and appointments.

Even after crews cleared the wreckage, it was still slow-going while repair crews fixed a badly damaged utility pole.

There was a second major crash on the highway after 1 p.m. only kilometres away, in Peachland.

Photos from the scene show a silver four-door sedan with heavy damage.

UPDATE: 2:35 p.m.

Traffic is flowing very slowly along Highway 97, as crews make repairs to damage caused by a crash this morning.

UPDATE: 1:35 p.m.

A Castanet reader reports crews have again stopped the flow of northbound traffic on Highway 97 to make repairs after crash near Gorman Bros. mill.

It's unclear how long the route will be closed.

UPDATE: 12:20 p.m.

Traffic is flowing in both directions along Highway 97 near Gorman Bros, say Kelowna RCMP.

"However, emergency crews continue to work at the scene and ask motorists to slow down in the area. RCMP would also like to thank the public for their patience and understanding."

UPDATE: 11:40 a.m.

Traffic has now started moving in the northbound direction. 

UPDATE: 10:50 a.m.

Both southbound lanes on Highway 97 are now reopened.

UPDATE: 10:15 a.m.

DriveBC estimates northbound lanes of Highway 97 won't reopen until noon.

One lane is currently open southbound.

UPDATE: 9:40 a.m.

Kelowna RCMP say traffic has started to flow southbound on Highway 97.

"Emergency crews have managed to clear a single southbound lane of Highway 97. However, both northbound lanes of Highway 97 remain fully blocked due to the crash," said police in a statement.

UPDATE: 9:15 a.m.

Kelowna RCMP say the closure of Highway 97 in West Kelowna is expected to last one or two hours, as crews clear the vehicles and debris.

The crash happened just before 8 a.m. when it appears a semi-truck jack-knifed, struck the concrete barrier and hit an SUV travelling in the opposite direction.

"Initial details from the scene also suggest that no serious injuries were sustained in the crash," said Kelowna RCMP in a statement.

UPDATE: 8:30 a.m.

It could be hours before emergency crews are able to get traffic moving on Highway 97 after a crash in West Kelowna near Gorman Bros. mill.

DriveBC has no estimate on when the route will reopen.

There is no detour.

ORIGINAL: 8 a.m.

Slippery roads appear to be causing commuter chaos Friday morning.

Castanet is receiving reports of numerous crashes in the Central Okanagan, including a crash on Highway 97 near UBCO and another near Gorman Bros. mill in West Kelowna.

Photos from the West Kelowna crash show a semi-truck crashed through a concrete barrier, with a second vehicle involved.

Initial reports from UBCO indicate a vehicle went over an embankment.

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