Mounties urge caution after at least 7 fatal crashes over the weekend

At least seven people were killed in crashes on B.C. roads this weekend, leading RCMP to call on drivers to be more cautious as winter approaches.

Alcohol may have been a factor in at least 2 deaths on B.C. highways

A driver was killed in North Vancouver on Saturday evening, after he crossed into oncoming traffic on Highway 1. (Shane MacKichan)

At least seven people were killed in crashes on B.C. roads this weekend, leading RCMP to call on drivers to be more cautious as winter approaches.

Since Thursday, people have died in collisions near Chetwynd, Lytton, North Vancouver, Squamish, Salmon Arm, Prince George and Surrey. Alcohol may have been a factor in at least two of those deaths.

"It's been a really horrible weekend for a lot of people," Cpl. Mike Halskov of RCMP Traffic Services told CBC.

"We're getting to the point where road conditions can change really quickly, especially as we're transitioning from daylight to darkness and the temperatures start to drop and the road can become icy."

The deadly weekend began Thursday with a single-vehicle crash near Chetwynd, where a man driving a Ford F150 died after being ejected from the truck. His passenger suffered minor injuries, and police say they have not ruled out alcohol as a factor.

Then, on Friday morning, a woman driving a Ford Fusion suffered fatal injuries when she pulled out onto Highway 1 in Lytton and her vehicle was struck by a pickup truck. Investigators believe driver error is to blame.

Saturday evening saw a three-vehicle collision on Highway 1 at Mountain Highway in North Vancouver. Witnesses reported that a westbound car veered into oncoming traffic and hit a pickup truck head-on, crashing into the vehicle behind the truck as well. The man driving the westbound car was killed and the people in the other vehicles were injured but are expected to survive.

A woman in her 30s died in a crash at a Surrey intersection on Sunday. (Shane MacKichan)

There were at least three fatal crashes in different parts of the province on Sunday, including an early morning crash that killed a woman in Surrey. Later that morning, another woman died at the scene of a multi-vehicle collision on Highway 99 north of Squamish. And in the afternoon, a head-on collision west of Salmon Arm killed the driver of a truck that had crossed the centre line into oncoming traffic — investigators say alcohol may have been a factor.

The latest fatal crash happened in the early hours of Monday morning on Highway 97 south of Prince George, where yet another driver was killed after crossing into oncoming traffic. In that case, the driver of a pickup truck died after a head-on collision with a southbound semi-truck.

With the holidays approaching, Halskov said it's important for drivers to take extra care on the road.

"We encourage drivers to slow down, take care, make sure their vehicles are properly equipped with good winter tread, and to be mindful of that the roads can get slippery quite quickly. And we also urge drivers not to drink and drive, obviously," he said. "It could save your life as well as that of someone else."