VANCOUVER - It could be long after the morning rush before the busy Lions Gate Bridge fully reopens, linking Vancouver and Metro Vancouver's North Shore.

The bridge was closed at about 11:45 p.m. Wednesday when a northbound car lost control and slammed into an oncoming West Vancouver Transit bus, and a third car piled into the wreck.

Two young men in the first car were rushed to hospital but could not be saved, and four of 15 people aboard the bus — including the driver — have been treated for non-life threatening injuries.

West Vancouver Police Sgt. Ed Pearce says the force of the crash was horrific.

He says the black car is crushed to about half its normal width, while the passenger side of the vehicle has been flattened into the area behind the driver's seat.

Crews were trying to partially reopen the bridge, a key commuter link, by 6 a.m., but admit investigators are still trying to determine what caused the collision and traffic will not be moving normally on the span for several hours. (The Canadian Press, CKNW)

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  • Motorists who police photographed taking snaps of a serious road traffic accident. (Photo credit: Geoff Robinson)

  • Motorists who police photographed taking snaps of a serious road traffic accident. (Photo credit: Geoff Robinson)

  • Motorists who police photographed taking snaps of a serious road traffic accident. (Photo credit: Geoff Robinson)

  • Motorists who police photographed taking snaps of a serious road traffic accident. (Photo credit: Geoff Robinson)

  • Motorists who police photographed taking snaps of a serious road traffic accident. (Photo credit: Geoff Robinson)

  • Motorists who police photographed taking snaps of a serious road traffic accident. (Photo credit: Geoff Robinson)

  • Motorists who police photographed taking snaps of a serious road traffic accident. (Photo credit: Geoff Robinson)

  • Motorists who police photographed taking snaps of a serious road traffic accident. (Photo credit: Geoff Robinson)