Inquest makes recommendations following Kootenay highway deaths
A coroner's jury has made four recommendations to improve safety along a Kootenay highway, following an inquest into the death of three men whose car was struck by two trucks during a snowstorm in 2011.
One of the main goals of the inquest, which wrapped up on Wednesday in Invermere, B.C., was to review what part weather related road closures may have played in the deaths.
Chul Lee was driving the car carrying Kwang Cha and Chunjic Koh as it pulled out from a rest stop and was southbound on Highway 95 between Brisco and Radium Hot Springs, B.C. on Jan. 19, 2011.
It was snowing heavily at the time and the three men, from B.C's Lower Mainland were killed when the car was struck by a logging truck and then a semi trailer truck.
All major highways in the area had been closed, including Highway 1, the Trans Canada, which forced all traffic onto Highway 95.
The jury made four recommendations, according to Barb McLintock, with the B.C. Coroners Service.
One recommendation was, "When Highway 95 becomes the alternate route because the Trans Canada is closed, [the Ministry of Transportation] should have road signs near Golden and Radium warning people that this is the case and what the current conditions are."
The other recommendations were:
- Upgrading Highway 95 to a "Class A" highway, which would require better maintenance.
- Add an acceleration lane near the rest stop where the men were killed.
- Reduce the speed limit on Highway 95 from Golden, B.C. to Radium, B.C. from 100 to 90 kilometers per hour.
It's now up to the Ministry of Transportation to decide if it will adopt the recommendations.