A serious motor vehicle incident (MVI) near Maze Lake, north of Lac la Hache, blocked traffic on Highway 97 for close to six hours on Aug. 10.
100 Mile House Fire-Rescue chief Roger Hollander says the callout came in at 2:06 p.m. and they arrived at the scene at the same time as the 100 Mile House RCMP, Cariboo Chilcotin Traffic Services and BC Ambulance Service crews.
The RCMP report states the semi was travelling north on Highway 97 and the mini van was travelling south when the MVI occurred.
The van was rolled over onto its roof when police arrived.
It has been confirmed one of the vehicles crossed the centreline and it was a head-on MVI.
Hollander notes there were three patients involved – two in the mini van and the third in the truck.
The male driver of the mini van suffered serious injuries, so a BC Ambulance Service helicopter was called in and it landed on the highway around 3:20 p.m. By 4 p.m., he was air lifted to Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. He is receiving treatment for his injuries and remains in hospital.
Hollander notes the female passenger of the mini van suffered minor injuries and was transferred to 100 Mile District General Hospital, and the male driver of the semi also suffered minor injuries and was
transported to Cariboo Memorial Hospital in William Lake.
Both have been treated and released from hospital.
The fire chief says they didn’t need to extricate any of patients, as they were all out of their vehicles when they arrived. He adds there were members of the public on the scene helping when they arrived, “which was great.”
An onlooker says two of the first people on the scene brought large first aid kits and started working on the victims.
Noting they stopped traffic when they arrived at the scene, Hollander said all of the patients were conscious and breathing and the road was still blocked when he left the scene.
The investigation of the cause of the MVI is ongoing.