British Columbia

Collision near Creston, B.C., kills 2, including 4-year-old girl

RCMP say evidence suggests driver of the SUV involved in the crash was coming from the Shambhala Music Festival and was impaired.

RCMP say evidence suggests driver of the SUV involved in the crash was impaired

The crash took place around 10 p.m. MT near Creston, B.C. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

Two people — including a four-year-old girl — are dead after a fiery crash on Highway 3 west of Creston, B.C., Monday evening.

RCMP say an eastbound Saturn SUV driven by a single occupant crossed the centre line around 10 p.m. MT and collided head on with an RV carrying a family of five from Alberta. 

The RV flipped, coming to rest on its roof, before catching fire. Four out of the five occupants in the RV were able to escape, but a fifth — a four-year-old girl who was sleeping in the back of the vehicle — died.

The driver of the SUV, a 26-year-old man from the area, also died.

RCMP Cpl Mike Halskov said there is evidence that suggests the driver was coming from the Shambhala Music Festival and may have been impaired.

"The evidence that we found both on him and on his vehicle, which I can't get into the details of for investigative reasons, do suggest that possibly impairment was playing a factor," Halskov said.

Jimmy Bundschuh, the founder of the Shambhala Music Festival, extended his condolences. 

"Our hearts are breaking for the family, loved ones, everyone involved," Bundschuh said. 

Though the festival is alcohol and drug-free, he says festival-goers still consume drugs and sneak in alcohol despite security and extensive searches.

"This year, we tried to reinforce with our communications campaign how people need to be well-rested and legal to drive on the highways," he said, noting they also have harm-reduction services on site to aid festival goers. 

"We spare no expense to keep our guests safe."

The music festival, started in 1998, attracts thousands of people to southeastern B.C. every August. 

With files from Dominika Lirette