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RCMP confirm Hwy 93 collision claims life of family of four

Nelson Daily Editor
By Nelson Daily Editor
July 23rd, 2011

Four people died Friday on Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park after a three-vehicle collision, RCMP traffic investigators confirmed.  

The RCMP East Kootenay Traffic Services completed their survey and examination Saturday. The vehicles were removed late Friday evening with the highway fully re-opening Saturday.

In total three vehicles were involved, a southbound BC registered, unloaded, flat deck b-train tractor trailer unit and a northbound Dodge camper van towing a Suzuki Sidekick compact 4×4. 

The scene examination and witness accounts indicate that the southbound tractor trailer unit crossed over the center line and jack-knifed into the path of the northbound van. 

The truck and trailer units then pinned the van against the no post barriers and caused the vehicles to ignite. 

Evidence and information indicate the driver of the van made all efforts possible to avoid the collision with the truck by driving onto the shoulder of the road, however, was unable to avoid the collision. 

Motorists who stopped were able to assist the truck driver but were helpless to assist those in the van due to the fire.

The van was removed and examined by an RCMP Forensic ident member along with the BC Coroners Service.  Investigators were able to determine that the van contained four occupants and have been tentatively identified as a family of four vacationing from Palo Alto, California. 

A 48-year-old father with his 49-year-old common law wife and their two children, a 12-year-old boy and 10-year-old girl. The RCMP are liaising with American authorities in efforts to notify next of kin of the family. 

Canada Border Services records indicated that the family entered BC while on vacation on July 21.

The driver of the truck was detained by investigators and later released without charges at this time. The vehicles involved were a 2003 black Volvo Tractor BC plate out of Langley and a 1972 Dodge van that was towing a 988 Suzuki Sidekick both registered in California.

Investigators are asking that if anyone observed the vehicles prior to the crash or if anyone may have video footage or photographs of the crash to contact the RCMP East Kootenay IRSU, Cranbrook at (250) 420-4244 inn order to assist them with the investigation.


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