Flipped cars, dozens of crashes as snowfall snarls Fraser Valley traffic
A blast of winter weather made for a messy commute in the Lower Mainland Tuesday morning.
An unexpected snowfall meant slippery roads and highways, sending vehicles spinning out of control and backing up traffic for hours.
Along Highway 1 through Abbotsford, several vehicles could be seen in the ditches or flipped over in the median.
But the side roads also proved challenging.
In Chilliwack, one person died and another was airlifted to hospital after a single-vehicle crash. While police did not directly blame the elements for the crash, they did say their initial investigation suggests the vehicle “lost traction” and rolled down a 300-metre embankment.
- Read more: 1 dead, 1 injured after vehicle 'lost traction,' rolled down Chilliwack embankment, RCMP say
A five-vehicle chain reaction accident in Langley sent one car into the porch of a home.
“I suspect what happened was there’s a minor, rear-end MVA and the vehicle into the house swerved to miss it and obviously couldn’t stop in time…and then other vehicles coming down the hill crashed into the ones already stopped on the hill,” said Doug Simpson, a platoon captain with Langley Township Fire Department.
“The roads are very slippery everywhere. I think because the snow is so wet. As soon as there’s vehicles driving, it turns to ice with the temperatures,” he explained.
In Langley Township and Abbotsford, emergency services responded to about two dozen calls for snow-related accidents.
Bruce Ferguson, Langley’s acting fire chief is reminding motorists to adjust their driving to the road conditions.
“Slow down. Don’t’ be in a hurry. If you don’t have to go out, maybe stay home until the roads are cleared up,” he said.
Another accident in Langley saw a semi-truck veer off the road in the 6600 block of 264th Street.
“My truck got out of control and skid all the way into the (power) pole,” said trucker Shahzad Rasheed, who said the accident happened as he tried to pulled over to allow more room for a vehicle driving toward him.
“Every driver on the road should be looking to drive carefully,” he said.
Mainroad Contracting, in a statement, says crews will be out on the region's roads salting and brining in preparation for an anticipated two centimetres of wet snow overnight. Lane closures will also be in effect on the Port Mann and Alex Fraser bridges while crews work to prepare the crossings for more snow.
Motorists are being reminded to check DriveBC for up-to-date information on closures or other issues, and to make sure their vehicles are prepared to handle winter conditions.
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