SURREY, B.C. - Five people are dead following what B.C. Mounties say is possibly the worst car crash witnessed in over 20 years.
Police say the crash occurred at an intersection not far from the U.S. border Sunday morning.
Sgt. Dale Carr said it appears a Dodge Caravan sped through a red light at the intersection and then crashed into a mid-sized car.
"[The Dodge Caravan] has such high velocity, it goes through the intersection, it comes to rest about 200 metres west of that intersection," he said. "There's again, so much velocity involved in the crash that the mid-sized import vehicle was torn in half at the firewall."
Manvir Shergill, who lives about a kilometre away from the intersection, said he had just woken up when he heard a very loud crash from outside. The 23-year-old immediately called his mother, who was not home at the time. When she did not pick up, Shergill, fearing the worst, ran out to the scene of the crash.
"When I got there, there was a white SUV flipped over at that new Esso (gas station) getting built there," he said. "There was another car at the same area, flipped over and split in half. The engine was upside down and the car was just totally split."
Carr said the incident left a debris field of about 200 metres in size. All five occupants — three adults and two children — of the mid-sized car died at the scene. The male driver — and lone occupant — of the Dodge Caravan suffered serious injuries and was transported by air ambulance to Royal Columbian Hospital.
Carr, who has been in law enforcement for 26 years, called the crash site a horrific scene of debris, and the worst collision he has witnessed.
"I can't think of a time that I've ever seen a crash, personally, of this magnitude," he said.
No details about the people involved in the crash have been released.
UPDATE: The victims have been identified by B.C. Coroners Service as Pawandeep Arjot, 31; Annish Sachdeva, 5; Jessica Sachdeva, 3; Neelam Rani Dhingra, 47; and Vidya Wanti Sachdeva,68 all from Surrey.