British Columbia

Third person dies following head-on crash near Chilliwack

British Columbia's police watchdog has been notified after three people died in a vehicle collision early Tuesday near Chilliwack.

2 people were pronounced dead at scene of Highway 1 crash, after their car drove into another vehicle

An RCMP officer looks at the collision site near a vehicle that was hit by a car driving in the wrong direction on the Trans-Canada Highway near Chilliwack, B.C., early Tuesday morning. (Shane MacKichan)

British Columbia's police watchdog has been notified after three people died in a vehicle collision early Tuesday near Chilliwack.

The RCMP say officers from the Upper Fraser Valley detachment responded to a call around 4 a.m. about a vehicle travelling the wrong way on the Trans-Canada Highway near Laidlaw.

A news release says an officer in Chilliwack located the suspect vehicle, which later avoided a spike belt deployed by another officer.

The vehicle continued travelling west in the highway's eastbound lanes before police say it collided with an eastbound vehicle, sparking a fire.

The passenger and driver of the vehicle travelling in the wrong direction were pronounced dead at the scene. One person from the second vehicle was transported to hospital with serious injuries, but died Tuesday evening, investigators say.  

Two people in the burned suspect vehicle were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which is being investigated by the IIO. (Shane MacKichan)

B.C.'s Independent Investigations Office (IIO) is now investigating to determine whether police actions are linked to the three deaths.

"The time of the collision, the details of where the police were, and what actions they were actually taking at the time of the collision are what we are looking at this point in time," said Ron MacDonald, the IIO's chief civilian director.

MacDonald said the investigation could take several weeks if not months, depending on the collision analysis and autopsy progress.

The IIO is asking any witnesses who may have seen what happened or who have dashcam footage to come forward.

With files from Canadian Press and Meera Bains

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