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38-year-old trucker killed in ‘catastrophic’ collision on Coquihalla Highway

Police say a 38-year-old man was killed in a crash on the Coquihalla Highway on Wednesday. File/ Global News

A collision between two semi-tractor commercial vehicles on the Coquihalla has left one man dead, according to police.

The crash took place at 4 p.m. on Feb. 17, 2021, four km south of Merritt, shutting down the Coquihalla for an overnight closure.

Read more: UPDATED: RCMP investigating after 2 killed in highway crash near Kamloops

Witnesses at the scene told police that both semi-tractor units were travelling in the southbound lanes of Highway 5, climbing a hill, when the collision unfolded,” wrote Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey.

“It is believed that one of those commercial vehicles was travelling at relatively slow speeds in the righthand lane. The second commercial vehicle collided with the rear of the first commercial vehicle as its driver attempted to overtake it on the left.”

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The damage caused to the passenger compartment of the cab was described by investigators as ‘catastrophic.’

Read more: Family members identify Kelowna victims of Monday highway crash in Kamloops

The 38-year-old man killed was believed to be a co-driver and was in the tractor’s sleeper compartment.

He was ejected from the cabin and was pronounced deceased at the scene, according to the RCMP.

The two other drivers did work together to try to provide life-saving measures for the victim.

The BC Coroners Service has launched an investigation into the death.

Merritt RCMP is looking for more potential witnesses.

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