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Semi jackknifes on Hwy. 97

A semi lost control on Hwy. 97 at Elk Rd. in West Kelowna just before 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. The tractor-trailer smashed into a pick-up and a mini-van before coming to a rest facing the wrong way and blocking the highway.

“From what I understand, the transport truck was coming southbound down the hill, as was another vehicle. Two more vehicles were in the northbound lane turning to go into WalMart,” says Reserve Constable Randy McEwen.

“The transport truck coming down the hill lost control – exactly how, we’re not sure yet – and jackknifed and the trailer swung around striking both vehicles that were waiting to make a left hand turn.”

Everyone was able to get out of their vehicles and there are no reports of any major injuries, but RCMP will still be investigating the incident to determine how the accident happened and what speeds the vehicles were traveling.

“It certainly had the potential to be very serious,” noted McEwen, who adds that northbound traffic is being detoured until the trailer can be moved.

“Road conditions are definitely a possibility. As you can see, they’re not the greatest right now. However again, we’re early into the investigation."

Traffic is at a stand-still while the big rig is moved and emergency crews will stay on the highway until the accident has been cleared.

McEwan's advice for drivers is simply:  slow down. And just because you can get up to speed without slipping doesn't mean you can stop the same way. He cautions drivers to keep their distance and drive according to road conditions.

A bystander, who knew one of the people involved in the accident says the truck lost control while coming down the slight hill.

“The truck was headed south and started skidding and he came across the meridian and wiped out four vehicles . I don’t know, he just lost control," says Lawrence, who didn't want to give his last name.

“He came over the meridian from what I gather, and then just slid right around and took all those cars with him."

More details to follow.

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