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Fireworks explode on Highway 1 after collision near Hope, B.C.

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Pyrotechnics lit up the night sky on Highway 1 near Hope Thursday after a semi rear-ended a pickup truck that was towing a trailer carrying a "large quantity" of fireworks, according to authorities.

Just before 10 p.m., police were called to the Trans-Canada Highway near Hunter Creek Road to assist paramedics after the collision. The pickup truck was pulled over on the side of the road when it was struck from behind by the tractor-trailer, a spokesperson for the Hope RCMP told CTV News in an email.

The impact of the crash "ignited" the fireworks, according to police, "the pickup truck subsequently caught fire and was completely burnt." 

“The pickup truck was in the ditch on fire and the semi went off to his right and hit this big boulder,” said Chantal Shaw, who arrived at the scene shortly after the crash.

She said by the time the fire was out, there was nothing but a burned shell left of the pick-up truck.

Both drivers were able to escape their vehicles, but one suffered minor injuries.

“The occupant of the pickup truck was transported to the Fraser Canyon Hospital with minor injuries,” said Cpl. Carmen Kiener of the Upper Fraser Valley RCMP.

 The crash set off an explosion and flames, forcing first responders to approach the area with caution.

“It could have been a lot worse," said Keiner. "Members had to be really careful when they approached the scene."

The fireworks temporarily shut down the eastbound lanes of Highway 1 near Hope.

“The whole highway was backed up all the way down as far as we could go,” said Shaw, who took video of the scene after checking to make sure the drivers involved were both OK.

“I was hiding in the car, just holding my phone out the sun roof because I didn’t want to get hit by a stray rocket or anything. It was just so loud and so huge,” she said.

Monica De Roo was with her husband driving on Highway 1 just after the fireworks started going off.

“Just as we approached it, boom, all of it started going off again. And we were just like, we just have to slam on the gas and try and book it through. It was just wild to see,” De Roo said in an interview with CTV News.

“It was loud, aggressive, kind of coming out of nowhere, so it was all around us,” she explained. “It was definitely scary."

She said it looked like something out of a movie, but was also very beautiful.

“I’ve never seen anything like it before,” she said.

“It was awesome,” said Shaw. “It was the best fireworks show I’ve ever seen."

A police investigation into the crash is ongoing.

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