A family of four were among those killed when an SUV collided head-on with a semi-trailer outside the town of McLeese Lake, B.C., according to the Prince George Citizen.

The newspaper reported that Matt Altizer, 40, his wife Leah and their two children, Jonathan, a Grade 8 student, and Emily, a Grade 6 student, died in the crash.

Also killed was a woman named Heather Kress, who was travelling with the family.

The truck driver was not injured.

The two vehicles burst into flames on impact after the SUV crossed the centre line of the highway, about 60 kilometres north of Williams Lake, RCMP said.

The Citizen said Altizer, who worked for the newspaper as a systems manager, was on a road trip to Vancouver with his family to see an international tennis match when the crash occurred.

"We have not only lost a colleague but a great friend today," said Coleen Sparrow, the Citizen's interim publisher. "Matt was a kind and gentle man who would go out of his way to help anyone, and patience was his hallmark."

The SUV was so badly burned, police were not immediately able to determine what type of vehicle it was, RCMP Insp. Warren Brown told CBC News.

A witness said the charred wreckage of the passenger vehicle was underneath the truck.

Greg Foster, who owns a pub in McLeese Lake, said he rushed to the scene after hearing about the collision.

"Everything was smouldering at the time. Materials all over the highway," Foster said.

There is no fire department in McLeese Lake, and the nearest fire hall is about 30 minutes away, he said.

With files from the CBC's Ben Hadaway