The crash site is off-limits until investigators and a forensic specialist from the Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) arrive to assess the scene.
The IIO said that the crash involved a vehicle that a Vanderhoof RCMP officer spotted stunting in a local parking lot at around 4:20 a.m. PT Sunday.
According to the RCMP, the vehicle fled the scene and the officer did not pursue it.
A short distance away, the fleeing vehicle struck a signpost. The RCMP officer happened upon the crashed vehicle, spoke briefly with the driver, and then checked on the three passengers. The driver then fled the scene.
Two passengers were seriously injured in the crash, and all three passengers were taken to hospital for treatment.
Vanderhoof RCMP maintains that the crash was not a result of a police chase, but the IIO was notified of the incident just before 7 a.m. and said it was sending six investigators to the scene.
DriveBC said that Highway 16 would be closed in the area until at least 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon and that a detour was available via 2nd Street.
DriveBC later revised the estimated time to reopen the road to 7 p.m., and at 5:30 p.m. announced the road had been reopened.