The family of four from Palo Alto, California who was killed in a three-vehicle crash while on vacation in B.C. has been identified by a relative.

Robert Howard, 49, Ana-Maria Dias, 50, and their children Samantha, 11, and Veronica, 9 were killed after their van collided with a flat-deck tractor trailer truck on Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Friday.

Cindy Howard, Robert's sister-in-law, said they were a caring, community-oriented, happy family.

"It just seems impossible that a family that was so full of life could be gone so quickly," she said.

Howard said the family loved the outdoors and had just begun their camping trip in B.C.

"I know they were looking forward to Banff, Jasper and Lake Louise," she said. "Those were places that Robert had been to growing up and I think they were looking forward to sharing that with the girls."

Police said that the truck crossed the centre line of the highway and slammed into the family's camper head-on, pinning it against a barrier.

The vehicles ignited in flames with the family trapped inside. The fire was so severe it took police two days to determine how many people were in the van.

The driver of the truck, a Langley man, survived the crash and was questioned by police and later released without being charged.

Although police do not know what caused the truck to cross the centre line, Cpl. Tom Brannigan said that this particular section of highway is dangerous.

"This is probably one of the worst turns on the entire highway. It has advisory signs all over the place," he said.

Howard helped set up a memorial website dedicated to the family where Canadians and Americans alike have offered condolences and shared memories.

A comment from someone who didn't know the family says "Please know many Canadians are sending their thoughts and prayers your way as you prepare to say goodbye."

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Bhinder Sajan