A terrible accident on the east side of Burns Lake claimed the life of 43 year-old Leigh St. Jean of Burns Lake, the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle. According to an RCMP report, the eastbound SUV collided with a westbound commercial transport truck at approximately 10:22 p.m. on Nov. 20.
Both vehicles were engulfed in flames immediately. The driver of the transport truck was taken to Lake District Hospital with minor injuries.
The BC Coroners Service and RCMP continue to investigate the cause of the accident.
Burns Lake RCMP, the Burns Lake Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department, and Vanderhoof traffic services responded to the accident.
Highway 16 was periodically closed to traffic, or only open to one-lane traffic, during vehicle recovery. At one point, RCMP were rerouting traffic along back roads.
An RCMP North District collision analyst was on scene to investigate the cause of the accident. Full details will not be available until the Coroner’s report is released, but RCMP spokesperson cst. Lesley Smith confirmed the roads were not bare.
“I do understand there was compact snow,” Smith said. “I don’t know if that’s the reason why she went into oncoming traffic.”
DriveBC was reporting “compact snow with slippery sections” on Hwy. 16 east and west of Burns Lake as of 9 a.m., Nov. 21.