Police have confirmed that a 2-vehicle crash on the Trans-Canada Highway just west of Howley Junction in western Newfoundland has claimed the lives of three people. Two others have been brought to hospital with injuries.

Deer Lake RCMP says the crash took place about 500 metres west of Howley Junction, or Route 401, before 9:45 a.m.

Crews opened one lane to traffic around 11:30 a..m., but motorists are asked to drive with caution until the road is cleared. 

Witness says crash involved 2 pickup trucks

A witness at the scene told CBC News that two pickup trucks collided on a four-lane, non-divided section of the highway.

He said the two vehicles collided head-on, and that one had landed in the ditch of the eastbound lane and the other in the ditch of the westbound lane. Another witness told CBC that three ambulances left the scene shortly before 10 a.m.

TCH howley junction crash

The Trans-Canada Highway was blocked in both directions west of the Route 401 exit on Wednesday following a two-vehicle collision that claimed the lives of three people. (Brian Kelly)

Howley Junction exit

Emergency crews had all four lanes of the non-divided section of the TCH closed following the collision. (Brian Kelly)