A car crossed the centre line and slammed into a pickup truck pulling a fifth-wheel trailer on Highway 97 near Williams Lake, B.C., on Friday morning. ((CBC))

Traffic on some B.C. and Alberta highways was shut down by a spate of accidents Friday that left three people dead.

The three died in a head-on collision on Highway 97, just north of Williams Lake in the Central Interior of B.C. on Friday morning.

In a separate accident on Highway 1, east of Chilliwack, five people, including three small children, were injured. The crash shut down traffic in both directions for three hours in the afternoon.

A southbound Honda Accord crossed the centre line and slammed into a pickup truck pulling a fifth-wheel trailer, RCMP Const. Bill Taylor said of the accident north of Williams Lake.

"Preliminary investigation shows that the Honda Accord had crossed over the solid yellow line and collided head on with the pickup truck," he said.


Two vehicles flipped after colliding head-on on Highway 1 near Annis Road near Chilliwack, B.C., shortly after 12 noon Friday. ((CBC))

A woman and a teenager in the Honda were killed at the scene and an elderly couple was taken to Cariboo Memorial Hospital in Williams Lake, police said.

The elderly passenger died at the hospital, while the male driver sustained a broken ankle.

No names have been released.

Some eyewitnesses said it was a terrible scene.

"It was pretty demolished. I didn't want to go look. It was so bad, I didn't want to look," Allan Chipps, one of the witnesses, told CBC News.

Crash near Chilliwack shut down traffic for 3 hours

The accident on Highway 1 near Annis Road occurred at 12:05 p.m. An Oldsmobile sedan travelling west crossed the grassy median and slammed head-on into a Nissan SUV pulling a travel trailer, Chilliwack RCMP said.

Both vehicles flipped and debris was scattered everywhere, Const. James Halliday said.

One woman in the sedan was airlifted to hospital and her three small children were taken to an area hospital for treatment. None of the injuries were life-threatening. The driver of the SUV was also sent to hospital with minor injuries.

The causes of both accidents are under investigation.

A semi-trailer driver died in a crash just across the Alberta boundary, about half-way between Banff and Lake Louise, forcing the closure of the Trans-Canada Highway.

All lanes on the Trans-Canada between Highway 93 and Lake Louise were closed for several hours, police said.