UPDATE: 11:15 a.m.
By CARMEN WELD
A woman killed in a car crash on the Coquihalla Highway was driving with her daughter.
Hwy. 5 reopened to single-lane southbound traffic at noon Tuesday as investigators pieced together what caused the fatal crash that claimed the life of the Merritt mother, who wasn't wearing a seatbelt.
The daughter is recovering in hospital.
Just before 5 a.m., Merritt RCMP, B.C. Ambulance and Merritt Fire Rescue responded to a report of a two-vehicle collision on the Coquihalla Highway near the Helmer brake check.
“A southbound commercial truck and trailer unit collided with the rear of a southbound Suzuki Swift with two occupants,” says Sgt. Mike Pears.
“The Suzuki Swift had two female occupants, a mother and daughter. The driver, a 47-year-old resident of the Nicola Valley died at the scene, her daughter was transported to hospital in Merritt with non-life-threatening injuries.”
Pears says the single occupant of the commercial vehicle sustained non-life-threatening injuries as well.
“What can be confirmed at this time is that the deceased driver of the car was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the collision,” says Pears.
“RCMP want to remind everyone that wearing a seatbelt can reduce injury and prevent death if you’re involved in a collision.”
A serious collision on the Coquihalla has forced closure of southbound lanes of the highway until later Tuesday, Aug. 30.
The crash, involving a semi-trailer and another vehicle, occurred about 20 km north of Merritt. The route is closed to southbound traffic at Helmer Road (Exit 315). Drive B.C. indicates the highway may reopen between noon and 3 p.m.
Motorists heading southbound from Kamloops are advised to take Old Merritt Hwy. (Hwy. 5A). Alternatively, light traffic can take the Walloper exit. Heavy traffic is advised to take Hwy. 1 through the Fraser Canyon.