UPDATE: (Tuesday, Sept. 25, 9:00 a.m.)
A nine-year-old boy and his father died in a three-vehicle collision north of Williams Lake Monday afternoon.
The tragedy involved seven people, including a family of five headed northbound in a Toyota SUV, who were hit head-on by a lone male driver in a pickup truck heading southbound who crossed the centre line. The truck also sideswiped a second pickup truck following the SUV northbound before coming to rest beside that vehicle.
Williams Lake RCMP, Central Cariboo Search and Rescue and the Wildwood Volunteer Fire Department were called to the scene at about 3 p.m. Monday afternoon to the stretch of highway near Kragbak Road, about eight kilometres north of Wildwood.
“The driver of the Toyota and a nine-year-old child sitting in the back seat died as a result of this collision. The other three occupants of the Toyota, an adult and two children were taken to hospital with what are believed to be non-life threatening injuries,” said RCMP Const. Mike Halskov.
“The lone driver of the side-swiped vehicle received minor injuries. The driver of the southbound pickup [that crossed the centre line] was extricated from his vehicle and transported to hospital.”
Halskov said the family was from northern B.C.
“At this early stage in the investigation, impairment does not appear to be a factor in this collision.”
Police are appealing to the public for any information about the collision, asking witnesses to call Cariboo Chilcotin Traffic Services in Williams Lake at 250-392-6211.
The Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Traffic Services (Williams Lake) have assumed conduct of the investigation with assistance from the North District Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Service, the BC Coroners’ Service and Work Safe BC.
Highway 97 remained closed into the early morning hours Tuesday as officers investigated the scene. A detour was available nearby for passenger, but not wide loads.
UPDATE: (6:00 a.m.)
Highway 97 is cleared and reopened to all traffic.
UPDATE (8:49 p.m.)
Highway 97 eight kilometres north of Wildwood was still closed in both directions just before 9 p.m. Monday due to a motor vehicle incident at Kragbak Road.
Detours are available to northbound traffic via Mountain House Road and Westcoast Road, while southbound traffic can use a detour at Kragbak Road.
Drive BC says both detours will not accommodate wide loads.
UPDATE (5:02 p.m.)
Drive BC has confirmed Highway 97 north of Williams Lake is closed in both directions due to a motor vehicle incident at Kragbak Road eight kilometres north of Wildwood.
There is currently no estimated time of reopening, and an assessment is in progress.
A detour is available via Mountain House Road and Westcoast Road.
Emergency crews rushed to the scene of serious motor vehicle incident north of Williams Lake on Highway 97 and Mountain House Road Monday afternoon.
RCMP have confirmed police are on scene.
Sirens could be heard leaving Williams Lake between 3:30 and 4 p.m.
Motorists heading north can leave Williams Lake, but must go down the Mountain House Road detour via Wildwood, said police.
DriveBC is not reporting anything as of 4 p.m.
It is believed the accident happened at about 3:15 p.m.
More to come.