WEST OF PEACHLAND – The winter driving season is only just beginning and already the Okanagan Connector has claimed numerous victims.
The high-altitude highway between Peachland and Merritt has been hit with several snow storms, causing slippery conditions, putting vehicles into the ditch.
That’s what happened to Terry McClelland Sunday evening near the Pennask Summit as she was driving from Vancouver to Peachland.
“I was coming down the hill, only doing about 40 kilometres, and the car in front started tapping his brakes so I very gently laid on mine and I was sliding right into him,” says McClelland. “I tried to correct and pass him but spun around and I went in backwards. It was some scary.”
Nearby, two other vehicles were in the deep snow of the centre median, including an overturned pickup truck.
“I think they could do a lot better job maintaining the road,” says McClelland who suffered some bumps and bruises in the crash.
On Monday afternoon, a serious injury crash closed the Connector near Corbett Lake, about 10 kilometres east of Merritt.
RCMP say It involved a commercial vehicle and a sport utility vehicle.
And police report numerous crashes Monday on the Coquihalla highway between Merritt and Hope.
There were no serous injuries.
A spill of hazardous materials from a commercial vehicle forced the closure of the northbound lanes near Hope for most of the day.
Environment Canada says almost 50 centimetres of snow has fallen on the Coquihalla since Friday with another 15-25 centimetres expected Monday night.