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One person has died, others injured, in Coquihalla crash

More than 30 patients are being transported to a nearby warming station in Hope.

UPDATE: 1:10 p.m.

British Columbia Emergency Health Services says it received a call at 9:48 a.m. for a multi-vehicle crash on the Coquihalla Highway, just north of the Highway 3 turnoff.

It says multiple paramedic crews were dispatched to the scene, including 13 ground, three air ambulances, several supervisor units and multi-patient transit buses.

Paramedics transported two patients to hospital by air in critical condition and three patients to hospital by ground in serious but stable condition.

Crews also cared for another 34 patients with non-life-threatening injuries at the scene, and are helping to transport more than 30 patients to a nearby warming station in Hope.

Cpl. Mike Halskov with RCMP Traffic Services says one person died in the crash.

The Canadian Press

UPDATE: 11:50 a.m.

At least one person has died in Wednesday morning's serious collision on the Coquihalla Highway, while “an undetermined number of people” have been injured.

Police confirmed Wednesday morning that one person was killed following the large crash just east of Hope that occurred at about 9:40 a.m.

“There are an undetermined number of people injured and one person has died as a result of this crash,” Cpl. Mike Halskov said in a statement. “The type and significance of injuries is not known at this time.”

While the investigation into the crash is in its early stages, Cp. Halskov says it appears “road/weather conditions in that area may be a significant contributing factor to this collision.”

One motorist said several vehicles were unable to stop on the slippery road, coming around a blind corner, and they collided with the initial crash.

The highway remains closed in the northbound direction, while southbound traffic has not been impacted.

UPDATE: 11:35 a.m.

It's still unclear just how many vehicles were involved in the pileup on the Coquihalla Highway outside of Hope Wednesday morning but it appears to be many.

Photos sent to Castanet from the scene shows a long line of vehicles that appear to have been involved in the crash in the eastbound lanes of the Coquihalla, about 10 kilometres outside of Hope.

One photo shows a blue car that appears to have been rear-ended by someone travelling at a significant speed.

A motorist who was on scene says vehicles were unable to stop on the slippery road, and piled into the initial crash.

Emergency crews are now on scene, working to clear the crash. DriveBC has no estimate for when the road may reopen. Westbound traffic has not been affected.

"Expect to encounter compact snow, slippery sections and limited visibility due to blowing snow," DriveBC says.

ORIGINAL: 10:25 a.m.

A number of vehicles have crashed on the slippery Coquihalla Highway outside of Hope Wednesday morning.

The crash occurred in the eastbound lanes of the highway, about 10 kilometres east of Hope, on the long, sweeping downhill curve just past the junction with Highway 3.

The highway has been hammered with snow for the past several days and the road remains slippery.

An initial crash blocked the highway Wednesday morning, but before emergency crews were able to set up adequate warning to others on the blind corner, a motorist at the scene said another four vehicles were unable to stop in time, and slid into the wreck.

“I came slowly down around the corner and came up to the accident,” Mitchell Danilak told Castanet. “Managed to stop without sliding into anything. Four other trucks came flying around the corner, and piled into what was already here.”

Danilak says the eastbound lanes of the highway are completely blocked, and ambulances and tow trucks have now arrived on scene. It's unclear if anyone was seriously injured in the crash.

Castanet will update this story as more information becomes available.