Coquihalla highway “well maintained” before Sunday crash, says Ministry

File photo. Nobody was killed in Sunday's multi-vehicle crash on the Coquihalla. Shane MacKichan

According to the Ministry of Transportation’s Regional Deputy Director for the South Coast Region, two snow plows moved through the crash site 20 minutes before the vehicles collided, and every piece of snow clearing equipment was available that night.

Janelle Erwin says severe storm lights were turned on, and there was also a travel advisory in place.

When asked on CKNW’s Jon McComb Show if the design of the highway had anything to do with the accident, specifically a curve in the road, she said, “We’re not going to pre-suppose the outcome of the investigation. The RCMP are working through an investigation to try to understand exactly what happened, and what led up to the event.”

As for whether or not the speed limit is too high, she said the current limits are for ideal conditions.
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“Certainly when you’re in a mountainous environment and there is snow – and there was up to 29 centimetres at the summit – those aren’t ideal conditions, and people certainly could be adjusting their speeds accordingly.”

Erwin said for now, there’s no talk of lowering the speed limit.

READ MORE: Coquihalla Highway reopens after serious multi-vehicle crash

“We are waiting to really understand the whole picture that unfolds from the RCMP, as they work through a pretty complex investigation, given the number and types of vehicles involved.”

She said the roadway is maintained to a Class A highway standard.

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