UPDATE: Two accidents block Hwy 3 east of Christina Lake

Fire chief: pregnant female in vehicle that rolled off the road was headed to Trail to have her baby

A Jeep balances on a roadside barrier after colliding with an empty tanker truck that crossed the centre line on Hwy 3 near Christina Lake on Wednesday.                                (@TranBC_WestKoot/Twitter)

A Jeep balances on a roadside barrier after colliding with an empty tanker truck that crossed the centre line on Hwy 3 near Christina Lake on Wednesday. (@TranBC_WestKoot/Twitter)

Two separate vehicle accidents completely blocked Hwy 3 Wednesday morning just east of Christina Lake.

The first, a collision between an empty commercial tanker truck and a Jeep, occurred just before 9:30 a.m. Police said in a release that the truck appeared to have crossed the centre line into the oncoming lane when the collision occurred.

Christina Lake Fire & Rescue responded to the incident, where all four people involved in the crash were able to get themselves out of the vehicles. According to Les Cleverly of the BC Ambulance Service, at least two people involved sustained “serious, but non life-threatening” injuries and will be sent to hospital in Kelowna.

As a Christina Lake fire engine was on its way to attend the first call, firefighters noticed another nearby incident where an eastbound passenger vehicle carrying a male and a pregnant woman had rolled over the embankment into a creek. Christina Lake fire chief Joe Geary said that the female had managed to get herself out of the vehicle, but the male was trapped inside when help arrived.

Firefighters repelled down the embankment to extricate the male. Aside from being “obviously cold,” Geary said, neither individual appeared to have sustained serious injuries. The female was apparently on her way to Trail to have her baby.

As of 11:36 a.m., Cleverly said that patients involved in both accidents were being assessed at the hospital in Grand Forks.

The BC Ambulance Service representative described the highway near both accidents as having “slippery and slushy” conditions.

“RCMP would like to remind motorists to drive according to the weather and roadway conditions,” said Grand Forks detachment commander Sgt. Darryl Peppler. “Area roadways can be icy and slushy and conditions can change dramatically with little notice. Please slow down and drive accordingly.”

RCMP continue to investigate both collisions. Speed relative to conditions has not yet been ruled out in both collisions. If any other motorists witnessed these accidents or have dash cam video, please contact the Grand Forks RCMP.

As of noon on Wednesday, the highway was open to single-lane, alternating traffic. Drivers travelling through the area can consult DriveBC’s website for more updates on when the road will be fully open.