1 person dead after crash on Coquihalla Highway between Hope and Merritt

One person has died after a multi-vehicle crash on Highway 5 — also known as the Coquihalla — between Hope and Merritt early on Wednesday morning.

Merritt RCMP said in a written statement that officers were called to a motor vehicle incident near Larsen Hill.

Poor road conditions had caused an initial incident in the northbound lanes that slowed down traffic. That caused another northbound vehicle to run into the back of a commercial vehicle trailer.

Three passengers in the northbound vehicle were taken to hospital for treatment. The driver of that vehicle died at the side of the road, police said.

B.C. Emergency Health Services said it received a call about a multi-vehicle incident at 6:48 a.m., and that the second crash happened at 7:30 a.m. Three ambulances and two air ambulances were dispatched.

Cpl. Mike Halskov with Merritt RCMP said black ice may have been be a contributing factor.

Temperatures in the area were around  –2 C at the time of the crash.