UPDATE: 4:45 p.m.
DriveBC reports Highway 1 has reopened between Golden and Revelstoke following a fatal crash this morning.
UPDATE: 3:50 p.m.
DriveBC now says the highway will re-open at around 5:30 p.m.
UPDATE: 2 p.m.
A four vehicle collision on the Trans-Canada Highway east of Revelstoke Monday morning claimed the life of a truck driver, RCMP confirmed.
In a news release, RCMP Cpl. Mike Wasylenki of Trans-Canada East Traffic Services says a semi headed westbound lost control and crossed the centre line, crashing head-on into an eastbound semi.
The driver of a the eastbound semi, a 51-year-old B.C. man, died as a result of the crash, while the driver and passenger in the westbound semi were seriously injured.
The westbound driver was reportedly taken away by air ambulance
A third semi headed eastbound collided with the crash scene, unable to stop, while an SUV also suffered front-end damage. The drivers of both those vehicles experienced minor injuries, police say.
Nathan Hayhurst is stuck on the highway, metres from the crash scene. He was heading westbound on Highway 1 between Golden and Revelstoke when he came across the violent accident scene, about 50 kilometres east of Revelstoke.
“The first indication that I saw was the plume of smoke,” said Hayhurst, who is a semi driver with 20 years of experience and 2-million incident-free kilometres under his belt.
“The scene is somber. There was a bunch of us up there seeing what we could do and it was somber. It is sad. It makes you sad and it makes you mad.”
Hayhurst said this is the third fatal accident he has been right behind in a matter of days.
“It is horrifying,” said Hayhurst.
Hayhurst said he believes inexperience is to blame for these all-too-common fatal highway crashes.
“The trucking industry is flooded with ill-prepared drivers,” said Hayhurst.
“It has got to a point, the transport industry has gotten so big and is such a necessary part of our society, that is flooded with inexperienced drivers. At some point, somebody is going to have to make it an apprenticeship profession.”
As it stands, said Hayhurst, a new driver needs to just read a book, drive three city blocks and get their license approved.
“You then have the ability to hurl 120,000 pounds at 120 km/h down a freeway somewhere,” said Hayhurst.
“That doesn’t sound right to me.”
Hayhurst said there are still a lot of amazing drivers out there, drivers two-million incident free kilometres, like he does, but each day he wonders if he will be the driver this time that doesn’t come home.
“The really decent professional drivers out here are being outnumber and overshadowed by the inexperienced,” said Hayhurst.
“So far, nothing that I know of exists whereby a potential professional driver is required to have certain levels of training based on the facet of transporting he would like to get into.
“Instead the Ministry of Transportation continues to only regulate and ticket poorly educated drivers after offences take place, and in this accident that’s too late for one more driver and his family. Seems to me they’re coming at it from the wrong angle.”
DriveBC says the highway is not expected to open until 7 p.m. The next update is expected at 3:30 p.m
A terrifying and fire-filled crash has closed Highway 1 for the majority of the day.
According to witnesses on the scene, the crash involved three semi-trucks and an SUV.
There is no word on the extent of the injuries so far.
A photo from the highway shows several destroyed semi trucks that appear to be involved in a head-on collision, east of Revelstoke.
DriveBC’s latest report puts the estimated time of opening at 7 p.m. this evening.
The next update is expected at 3:30 p.m.
UPDATE: 10:52 p.m.:
DriveBC now says the highway is closed until 7 p.m.
The Trans-Canada Highway is closed from Revelstoke to Golden due to a crash, DriveBC reports.
A noticed posted by DriveBC at 9:45 a.m. Monday morning says the highway will be closed until about 3:30 p.m. due to a vehicle incident.
It says assessment of the accident scene is in progress and an update is expected at 2 p.m.
No details of the incident are available, but highway webcams show the road is covered in snow and DriveBC warns of slushy and slippery conditions from Craigellachie, west of Revelstoke, all the way to the east boundary of Glacier National Park.