SUV driver killed, 4 in hospital after multi-vehicle crash west of Hinton, Alta.

A file photo of an RCMP cruiser. Callum Smith / Global News

A fatal collision shut down Highway 16 about 18 kilometres west of Hinton, the RCMP said Monday night.

Police originally said they were told about a three-vehicle collision at approximately 5:40 p.m. In an update shortly before 10:30 p.m., police said it was actually four vehicles involved: a car, two SUVs and a semi-truck hauling a load.

“RCMP are able to confirm that there is one fatality as a result of this collision,” police said in a news release. “Hinton RCMP along with an RCMP collision analyst are investigating this collision.”

The RCMP said the driver of one of the SUVs died at the scene while three passengers in the same vehicle were taken to hospital with serious injuries. They said some had to be airlifted.

Two people from the other SUV were also injured and one of those victims was taken to hospital. The RCMP did not provide details about their condition. Police said the people in the car were not injured and did not provide details on the status of the semi-truck driver.

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While an investigation into what happened is ongoing, police said the collision occurred at the Wildhorse Lake Campground turnoff on Highway 16.

According to RCMP, the collision shut down both eastbound and westbound lanes at the site of the crash, and traffic “is unable to be rerouted due to the geographic area.”

“As such, motorists are being asked to avoid the area,” RCMP said.

Police originally said the closure was expected to remain in effect until about 12:30 a.m. on Tuesday, but later provided an update and said they expected the highway would not reopen until about 3 a.m.

Photos submitted to Global News from the highway showed vehicles lined up on the road and unable to move. The RCMP noted that once the highway does reopen, “significant delays in the area are expected due to large backlogs of traffic.”

A photo showing traffic stalled on Highway 16 west of Hinton, Alta., following a fatal crash. COURTESY: Kimberly Webster

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