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UPDATE: Burnaby mother, two daughters killed in crash on Trans Canada

This photo from the DriveBC webcam shows a stretch of Highway 1 at Rogers Pass. The area is considered very dangerous, and the mayors of Revelstoke and Golden have lobbied Ottawa for improvements to the highway. - DriveBC webcame
This photo from the DriveBC webcam shows a stretch of Highway 1 at Rogers Pass. The area is considered very dangerous, and the mayors of Revelstoke and Golden have lobbied Ottawa for improvements to the highway.
— image credit: DriveBC webcame

A 36-year-old Burnaby woman and her two young daughters, aged six and four, are dead after a two-vehicle crash on the Trans-Canada Highway Wednesday afternoon.

RCMP and the B.C Coroners Service continue to investigate the collision, which happened at about 5:10 p.m. Dec. 21, on Highway 1 about six kilometres west of the Rogers Pass Summit.

A 2003 Suzuki SUV was westbound on a straight stretch of roadway when for an unknown reason it crossed into the eastbound lane where it was struck by an eastbound commercial tractor trailer unit.

"The impact of the collision was so severe that all three female occupants of the [SUV] were deceased immediately," said Sgt. Mike Pears of the RCMP's Trans Canada East Traffic Services in a press release.

RCMP will not be releasing the names of those killed in the incident at the request of the family.

The mother and her daughters were travelling from Calgary to their home in Burnaby. The driver of the tractor trailer is from the Lower Mainland and was not injured. The trucking company is based in Langley.

Pears said in an interview from Golden that road conditions don't appear to have been a factor.

"The surface wasn't bare and dry but it sure wasn't ice covered either, or snow covered," he said. "They were pretty good conditions for this time of year in this area."

Pears said police are trying to determine why the woman's vehicle veered into oncoming traffic. "Was this person tired? Were they distracted by something? ... We may never know that."

So far the only witnesses to speak to police are the truck driver and one other person, he said.

"It is the holiday season and we're going to see a spike in traffic here in the next day and a half," said Pears. "I'm kind of hoping that everyone will just take their time and relax, get from point A to point B safely so whoever they're spending the holiday season with can be joyous and not have to deal with an incident like this for family members.

"This family's got to deal with this tragedy for the next while and god only knows how long they're going to have to deal with it, and that's three people in one family, wow."

RCMP are asking that any witnesses to the collision who have not yet spoken to police to call the Trans Canada East Traffic Services Unit in Revelstoke at 250-837-5255.

wchow@burnabynewsleader.com

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