Eight people were transported to hospital, one person in critical condition, following a multiple-vehicle collision on the RW Bruhn Bridge near Sicamous.
At 5:44 p.m. on Thursday, July 28, BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) responded with five ground ambulances and an air ambulance to a three-vehicle collision reported on the Highway 1 bridge.
RCMP, Eagle Valley Rescue Society and the Sicamous Fire Department also responded to the incident, which closed the highway for several hours.
A BCEHS spokesperson said one patient was transported by air ambulance to hospital in critical condition, and seven other patients were transported to hospital in stable condition.
Sicamous Fire Chief Brett Ogino said the collision began when a vehicle made a left-hand turn off the bridge onto Old Spallumcheen Road. A transport truck struck the vehicle that was behind the vehicle turning, and then went into the eastbound lane where it hit another vehicle head on.
“It is incredibly lucky (they) didn’t go over the bridge,” Ogino said of those in one of the vehicles that knocked out a portion of the bridge railing along the eastbound lane.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) said the collision damaged several sections of the railing, though there was no structural damage to the bridge itself. The railing will be replaced. A brace will be put in place temporarily until the work can be done.
As of Friday morning, July 29, DriveBC was asking that motorists watch for traffic control at the bridge, where the speed limit had been reduced to 30 kilometres an hour until further notice.
According to ICBC, 10 crashes occurred towards the west end of the Bruhn Bridge between 2017 and 2021.
MOTI is working on replacing the two-lane bridge, built in 1962, with a four-lane structure. The design for the project includes approximately 1.9 kilometres of Highway 1 four-laning, replacement of the existing Bruhn Bridge with a new four-lane bridge, and intersection improvements between Old Sicamous Road and Silver Sands Road. The new design replaces the Old Spallumcheen turnoff with an alternative access to the west. According to the ministry, a three-year construction period is anticipated for the project, with utility relocation planned in 2022 and construction tender targeted in late 2022.
More information will be provided as it becomes available.
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