Two people are dead, after their 4x4 pickup truck slid off an icy gravel road in Chilliwack, and crashed into the Fraser River early Sunday morning.

The tragedy happened sometime after 1 a.m. on Ballam Road, near McDonald Road, according to Chilliwack Search and Rescue search manager Doug Fraser.

The truck crashed down a six-metre embankment before plunging into the frigid river, said Fraser. 

Chilliwack RCMP Sgt. Mike Sargent said both victims are male, but one hadn't immediately been identified, early Sunday morning, and their ages weren't confirmed.

"The road conditions will be a factor in the accident," said Sargent.

Chilliwack SAR first attempted to reach the scene with its jet boat, but found the section of river iced up and impossible to navigate. Fraser and another Chilliwack SAR volunteer then donned dry suits with heavy thermal layers, before wading into the water to recover the vehicle with its deceased occupants. 

"Well, you know, it's always tragic when a life, or two, is lost in an event like this," said Fraser.

This was the first time Chilliwack SAR has been called out in 2016.

"It's not the type of first call we wanted to see," said Fraser, who added that he hoped the next one has a happier ending.