Coquihalla Highway closed for hours after at least 10 injured in collision

The Coquihalla Highway was closed for hours Sunday in both directions 15 kilometres south of Merritt,B.C., and 10 people are in hospital due to a vehicle collision, according to DriveBC and Interior Health. 

Southbound lanes have been re-opened after being closed when at least one vehicle incident occurred around 4 p.m. PT.

However it could take until 11 p.m. for northbound lanes to open.

Officials say five patients, with varying injuries, were sent to the Nicola Valley Hospital and Health Centre in Merritt, while another five were transported to Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. All are described as having varying injuries.

​Many vehicles were stuck on the roadway from the late afternoon well into the evening as snow fell.

For parts of Sunday there was significant snow on the upper portions of the Coquihalla Highway between Hope and Merritt forcing commercial truck operators to use tire chains on their vehicles.

Meanwhile, Highway 97C was closed in both directions for about an hour Sunday evening from the Pennask Summit to Brenda Mine because of winter driving conditions. That roadway connects Merritt to Peachland on Okanagan Lake.