British Columbia

Victoria family spent night stuck on Coquihalla but had snacks and blankets

After hazardous driving conditions shut down the Coquihalla Highway, a Vancouver Island family had to hunker-down in their car overnight.

'It was like a huge sheet of ice coming down the hill to the Coldwater Interchange'

Ewan and Calum Webber-Smith and their parents spent the night in their car on the Coquihalla Highway because of hazardous driving conditions. (Tina Webber)

She is calling it their "great Canadian adventure."

Tina Webber says her family of four had to spend Thursday night in their car after the Coquihalla Highway was shut down due to hazardous driving conditions.

An emergency room doctor in Victoria, Webber says the family was heading to Kamloops for a ski trip.

"The major problem was the huge numbers of trucks, and it was like a huge sheet of ice coming down the hill to the Coldwater Interchange and then back up again, " Webber told All Points West host Robyn Burns.

Webber says they were stuck on the highway overnight from 9 p.m. to 9:30 a.m.

"Nobody came through the night to tell us what was going on," Webber said.

"Hunkering down was an option, because my husband had lived in Prince George, so he was well prepared.

"He had packed all the sleeping bags in the car just in case. We had a full bag of really unhealthy snacks, so the kids were happy."

Malcom Smith gets credit from his wife for packing down sleeping bags that kept them warm overnight on the Coquihalla Highway. (Tina Webber)

Webber says a B.C. highway official came by around 8:30 a.m. and passed out granola bars.

She says traffic started to move in the morning. However, the family won't be able to reach its destination until the Coquihalla reopens.

By Friday morning, 50 to 100 people were still stuck on the Coquihalla, according to Mike Lorimer, the regional director for the southern Interior region of the Ministry of Highways.

Webber was impressed by how her kids handled their unplanned winter car-camping experience.

"We consider it a great Canadian adventure. There are not many other places in the world where you can say you spent the night in the middle of a snowbank cozy under down blankets."

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