Highway 97 crash sends four to hospital

Two vehicles sit on the side of Highway 97 after a head-on collision Thursday morning. - Richard Rolke/Morning Star
Two vehicles sit on the side of Highway 97 after a head-on collision Thursday morning.
— image credit: Richard Rolke/Morning Star

A head-on collision sent four people to hospital and impacted the morning commute Thursday.

At about 6:15 a.m., a northbound SUV jumped over the median and struck a pickup truck pulling a holiday trailer at Highway 97 and Kalamalka Lakeview Drive, by the welcome to Greater Vernon sign.

“We transported four patients to Vernon Jubilee Hospital — two males and two females,” said Shane Code, a superintendent with the B.C. Ambulance Service.

“All were stable.”

The 21-year-old Vernon man driving the SUV possibly sustained injuries to his legs and abdomen while the 54-year-old Calgary man driving the pickup truck may have received head and neck injuries.

The other two occupants of the truck, a 51-year-old woman and a 14-year-old girl, both from Calgary, complained of whiplash but have been released from VJH.

“They are non-life threatening injuries but that doesn’t mean they aren’t serious,” said Gord Molendyk, Vernon RCMP spokesperson.

The SUV came to rest on the shoulder of the southbound lanes while the trailer was on its side in a ditch.

“We used Jaws of Life to get them out in both vehicles,” said Jack Blair, a deputy chief with the Vernon Fire Department.

As a result of the accident, both southbound lanes had to be closed, resulting in a long line of vehicles heading between Vernon and Lake Country.

Traffic was first rerouted into one of the northbound lanes and then the highway was fully reopened.

Along with the police, the Ministry of Transportation helped provide traffic control.

The investigation into the accident continues.



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