Coquihalla Hwy, Trans Canada open after crashes

Multiple crashes on drive

UPDATE 8:30 p.m.

A woman driving from Kelowna to the coast Thursday night witnessed a serious crash on the Okanagan Connector, before getting stuck on the Coquihalla for an hour due to a different crash. 

Tia Janzen was driving on the Connector near Brenda Mine with her children when she came to a slick part of the highway. 

"I took my foot right off the gas and I looked in my rearview (mirror) and I saw the white truck behind us start fishtailing really bad, and then he spun around and his truck flew up in the air and landed on its roof in the snowbank in between the southbound and northbound lanes," Janzen said. 

She called 911, but with large snowbanks on either side of the highway, she says she had no place to safely stop. She noticed drivers on the other side of the highway stopping to help.

Janzen soon came upon the large crash near the Zopkios rest area on the Coquihalla Highway, where she was stopped for about an hour. That crash was fully cleared by about 7 p.m.

"It definitely made me slow down, my heart was pounding," Janzen said. "I've never actually witnessed an accident ... it was quite scary."

UPDATE 6:25 p.m.

Traffic is flowing again on the Coquihalla. 

DriveBC reports a southbound lane remains blocked near the Zopkios Brake Check. Motorists should expect delays of at least an hour. CTV Vancouver reports the crash involved between 15 and 20 vehicles. Three people were taken to hospital.

The crash on the Trans-Canada Highway near Golden has also been partially cleared. Single-lane-alternating traffic is now moving.

ORIGINAL 4:35 p.m.

Crashes have closed the Coquihalla Highway and the Trans-Canada Highway Thursday afternoon.

Southbound traffic appears to be at a standstill near the Coquihalla Summit, while both directions of Highway 1 have been closed about five kilometres east of Golden.

Both crashes are believed to have occurred shortly before 4 p.m.

DriveBC says an assessment of the Golden crash is currently underway, while it's unclear if emergency crews are on scene of the Coquihalla crash yet.

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