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Highway reopened, phone service restored after fatal crash in Fraser Canyon

The Hells Gate Airtram in the Fraser Canyon. Simon Little / Global News

Highway 1 reopened fully Friday after a closure north of Hells Gate, B.C., in the Fraser Canyon due to a fatal crash that caused a near day-long phone and internet outage in the area.

The BC RCMP said it received a report of a man in crisis threatening to drive off a bridge Thursday morning.

An officer found the man driving on Highway 1 near Hells Gate, but police said he failed to stop, and instead drove over a steep embankment and died in the crash.

The Independent Investigations Office confirmed it had been notified of a fatal crash at the location, and was probing whether police actions contributed to the man’s death.

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Telus said the crash caused “extensive damage” to its infrastructure in the area, and estimated the service outage affected about 200 customers in Boston Bar, Hope, Lytton and Spences Bridge, that affected internet and phone service, along with some wireless signal.

Read more: New wildfire near still-recovering Lytton, B.C. may have destroyed structures: officials

The Fraser Valley Regional District and E-Comm had warned that the service disruption was potentially preventing people from calling 911.

E-Comm said anyone in a life-threatening emergency should try dialing 911 first, but that if they did not have service they should head to the nearest doctor, police detachment or fire department.

Telus said Friday that crews worked through the night and were able to restore service Friday morning.

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