RCMP say it's "extremely fortunate" no one died in a major crash involving a semi-trailer and five other vehicles on Highway 1 near Sicamous, B.C., on Wednesday evening.
RCMP in both Sicamous and Salmon Arm were called to the collision about 10 kilometres west of the Interior municipality at around 6:30 p.m. PT, according to a statement released Thursday.
Police believe the westbound semi, which was loaded with grocery products, crossed a double line into oncoming traffic after failing to negotiate a turn.
The semi braked and skidded for 50 metres, but then flipped onto its side and slid for another 50 metres, striking an oncoming semi, three pickup trucks and an SUV, before coming to rest, police said.
Driver charged under Motor Vehicle Act
Four people, including the driver of the westbound semi, were taken to hospital with what police believe to be non-life threatening injuries.
Police have now charged the semi driver, a 32-year-old Calgary man, with crossing a double solid line under the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act.
Investigators say no evidence was found to suggest that impairment was a factor in the crash, but speed may have been a factor.
"It is extremely fortunate that this collision did not result in multiple fatalities considering the length the truck traveled before finally coming to a stop," said Sgt. Murray McNeil, Sicamous RCMP Detachment Commander.
McNeil said the crash happened on a narrow, two-lane section of the highway bounded by a rock wall on one side and a steep drop on the other.
Highway 1 was closed in both directions for hours following the crash and reopened early Thursday.