Two Squamish residents are dead following a collision on Highway 99 North just outside of Lillooet on Friday, Jan. 2.
Lillooet RCMP Sgt. Mike Eling said police were informed of the accident at approximately 3:45 p.m. on Friday and it was determined a southbound vehicle described as a grey 2005 Toyota Sequoia carrying a family of five crossed the centre line and side-swiped a northbound vehicle described as a grey 2004 Suzuki Areio.
The collision caused the driver of the Toyoto Sequoia to veer off the road; the vehicle plunged down a steep embankment and came to rest on the shores of the Fraser River.
The 46-year-old driver from Squamish managed to escape from the vehicle, along with his two daughters ages 11 and 4, who remain in stable condition.
Sgt. Eling said rescue crews located the two remaining passengers in the vehicle – a 46-year-old woman and a seven-year-old boy, both were unresponsive and were later pronounced dead at the scene. The names of the two victims of the crash have not yet been released.
The driver and passenger in the Suzuki Aerio, who are both from the Lillooet area, were not injured in the collision.
Highway 99 North remained closed Friday night as the RCMP Southeast District Collision Reconstruction Unit continued its investigation into the accident. The highway has since reopened.
Police say they believe Friday afternoon's sudden, heavy snowfall was a contributing factor in the accident. They do not believe alcohol was a contributing factor in the crash.
More to come.
This article originally appeared in The Squamish Chief on Jan. 3. With files from: Wendy Fraser/Bridge River Lillooet News.