A two vehicle head-on collision claimed one life, sent two people to hospital after they got out of their burning vehicle and shut down Hwy 16 about 2 km east of Usk for six hours Sept. 25.
Cpl. Philip Crack of the highway patrol office here said the vehicles hit head-on and that the collision reconstructionist had arrived at the scene to determine what happened.
The female driver of a black Ford Focus minivan died at the scene and a man and woman in a Ford truck escaped with minor injuries even though their vehicle became engulfed in flames by the time Thornhill and Terrace firefighters arrived.
The minivan driver is from Terrace but it’s not known if the truck driver and passenger are also from here, said Crack.
Thornhill fire chief Wes Patterson said nine firefighters from his department went to the accident, which was said to be near “Smitty’s road,” which is within the fire department’s service area.
Upon arrival, they noticed that the crash site was outside their service area but Patterson decided to respond as he could see that the crash and it was only about a half kilometre outside the boundary line.
“It doesn’t happen very often,” he said about getting called out beyond the Thornhill fire department service boundary.
“The fact that the call came in and it was a bad accident and the potential was there for entrapment (of a motorist in a vehicle) was the reason I made the call to go outside of our boundary.”
Thornhill fire department has the water pumper truck and Terrace firefighters were also on hand to help fight the blaze.
Crack said that the collision reconstuctionist, who’s located in Prince Rupert, was on her day off but agreed to come to the crash site to work.
Terrace is without its own collision reconstructionist right now but a new one has been named, he added.
The road, which was closed around noon shortly after the accident, was reopened just after 6 p.m., according to DriveBC.
If you’re planning on travelling east of Terrace, you might want to hold off for a while as the highway has been closed near Usk.
DriveBC reported just after noon today, Sept. 25, that Hwy 16 has been closed in both directions 2 km east of Usk due to a vehicle accident.
The estimated time of reopening the road is not known but an assessment is in progress, said DriveBC, which will update the information at 2 p.m.
Reports indicate that two vehicles are involved in the accident and at least one vehicle is on fire on an S-curve in the road. Ambulance and police are at the scene.