One person is dead and an RCMP and coroner service investigation underway after a pickup truck plunged 60 metres down an embankment near Napier Lake.
Emergency crews were dispatched to a single-vehicle accident at 3:25 p.m. Friday. RCMP Staff Sgt. Doug Aird said a motorist saw skid marks leading off the road about 20 kilometres south of Kamloops.
Fire and Rescue assistant chief Dennis Fayers said a rescue truck was sent with three firefighters trained in rope rescue on board. His crew rappelled down the embankment to the vehicle, where one occupant was found inside.
Aird said the person died from injuries sustained in the crash.
Fayers said an RCMP collision analyst was en route to the location early Friday night and police asked Fire and Rescue to remain and help secure the scene.
RCMP blocked the north and southbound lanes and didn’t expect the highway to open until after 6 p.m. Aird said alternating traffic would be allowed to pass while the investigation continues.
It wasn’t long before a line of trucks, tractor-trailers and cars backed up in either direction.
Motorists were told a black, mid-80s Chevy pickup truck drove off the road. Daryl LeDuke said he offered emergency crews jackets and blankets to keep the driver warm, but was told there was no point.
He’s part of a crew working on the new Sagebrush golf course in Merritt. A Kamloops resident, he’s driven Highway 5A almost every day for a month. He said this is the third accident he’s seen.
“It’s the second horrendous one,” he said, referencing a minivan crash at Richie Lake about two weeks ago. “It’s a sketchy road. People drive too fast.”
Logan Laxson was on his way to Vancouver when he got caught up in the line of vehicles at the crash site. He wondered if a silver Honda Civic that had passed him on the highway earlier might be the vehicle that had gone off the road. He was relieved to learn it wasn’t.
“They were hauling really good,” he said. “I was doing 80. They were going faster.”