Three seriously injured in highway crash

Alcohol is believed to be a factor in a serious crash on the Coquihalla Highway on Sunday night (Nov. 25) that sent three people to hospital with severe injuries.

Kamloops RCMP Staff Sgt. Grant Learned said a 24-year-old Prince Rupert man driving a 2003 Dodge minivan was injured along with his two passengers, one who sustained critical injuries, when the driver lost control and rolled the vehicle in the northbound lanes of the highway just north of the Inks Lake brake-check station just before 8 p.m.

Learned said the driver was trapped inside the van, along with the vehicle owner, a 26-year-old Courtney man, who was in the front passenger seat. Both suffered serious injuries. A third man was thrown from a rear passenger seat and was found  in a ditch suffering from critical injuries.

Learned said drivers who came upon the crash scene found the minivan was demolished, with large amounts of debris scattered over the roadway, including the van's engine. Evidence gathered at the scene indicated the van skidded off the highway, hit an embankment and rolled.

Alcohol is considered a contributing factor in the crash and police will be applying for a warrant to seize blood samples collected from the driver by staff at Royal Inland Hospital.

The vehicle and associated debris has been impounded and will be subject of a mechanical inspection to determine if there were any pre-existing mechanical defects associated to the crash.

No charges have yet been laid and no names are being released.



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