HOPE, B.C. — First responders and highways crews worked through the night east of Vancouver, helping 165 victims involved in a multi-vehicle pileup on an icy stretch of the Coquihalla Highway.
British Columbia's Provincial Health Services Authority says 29 of those people were hospitalized and their conditions range from stable to critical following a crash Sunday night that involved at least six vehicles.
"Multiple Emergency Services agencies responded to the collision and demonstrated excellent inter-agency co-operation in order to locate everyone involved and ensure that the injured received medical care," said a statement issued Monday by Fraser Valley Traffic Services.
"Thankfully, there were no fatalities as a result of this collision," the statement says.
The authority's spokeswoman Amy Robertson says two Greyhound buses, two transport trucks and two passenger vehicles collided near the bottom of a hill just north of Hope, about 150 kilometres east of Vancouver.
02/25/2018 - 20:28hrs #HopeSAR called out for a multi vehicle crash, including buses, semis & cars on #Hwy5. Mutual aid included @ChilliwackSAR@HopeFireDept#AgassizFireDept#PopkumFireDept#Coquihallapic.twitter.com/3ogB1D9sws— Hope SAR (@hopesar1) February 26, 2018
Greyhound spokeswoman Lanesha Gipson said both buses were travelling from Kelowna to Vancouver, one was carrying 50 passengers and the bus that landed in the ditch had 47 aboard.
"We are aware of five reported injuries, most of which were treated and released," Gipson said.
Greyhound sent a relief bus to Hope were 136 uninjured people were sheltered overnight at a local high school and Gipson said the Greyhound customers were transported to their destinations.
Winter driving conditions were factor
Const. Mike Halskov, with RCMP traffic services, said Monday that winter driving conditions are considered to be a major contributing factor in the crash.
Hope Search and Rescue, numerous area fire departments and dozens of ambulances rushed to the scene to help with the injured.
The search group posted photos showing two transport trucks twisted together across the highway, with one cab partially down an embankment while the truck's rear wheels rested on another mangled vehicle.
The accident forced the closure of the Coquihalla in both directions between Hope and Merritt for about seven hours, but traffic was moving in both directions by Monday morning.
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