One woman is dead and another is in critical condition after their car hit a moose in Northern B.C. early Sunday morning.

The accident occurred on Highway 16, about halfway between Fraser Lake and Burns Lake, when it seems the moose suddenly appeared from the ditch and jumped in front of the vehicle.

The driver suffered serious life threatening injuries and she has since been transported to the Vancouver General hospital.

The passenger, a 43-year-old woman, was pronounced dead at the scene. Both women were from Burns Lake.

Gayle Hesse with the Wildlife Collision Prevention Program says such collisions kill about five people each year and in the winter, the risks go up.

"The hours of daylight are shortened, the road conditions are difficult to drive in," said Hesse.

"As the snow depth in the backcountry increases, moose move down into the valley bottoms, looking for food and shelter and areas where there's less snow."

Hesse says there are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of a serious collision with an animal, such as driving at an appropriate speed for the road conditions and keeping an eye on the road ahead.

She also suggests playing through an accident scenario in your head to make you better prepared to react.

View Fraser Lake/Burns Lake in a larger map