Police in northern B.C. say that one person died when the driver of one vehicle tried to pass a lineup of backed-up highway traffic and slammed into a pickup truck in the oncoming lane.

Cpl. Madonna Saunderson, of RCMP Prince George traffic services, said a tow truck was at work on Highway 97 near Ten Mile Lake, about seven kilometres north of Quesnel just before 9:18 a.m. PT Friday.

53.060199,-122.448149Highway 97 near Ten Mile Lake

The tow truck was blocking southbound traffic, which began to back up.

A southbound driver decided to pass the lineup, and moved into the oncoming traffic lane. That vehicle struck an oncoming pickup truck head-on.

Saunderson said a passenger in the vehicle died from injuries caused by the crash.

Highway 97 near the scene was closed for several hours Friday.

It was snowing in the area at the time, and a witness described the road conditions as very slick.

Police, collision analysts and the BC Coroners Service are investigating the death and the causes of the accident.

Police noted that weather and road conditions are less than desirable in the area, and drivers should take extra precautions to be safe on the roads.