There were no injuries from the inferno that closed the east north bound lanes of Highway 97 on bridge hill in West Kelowna.
“The vehicle involved, a silver Nissan Xtrail was travelling down bridge hill on approach to the William R. Bennett Bridge when the collision occurred,” said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey, in a press release.
“Police believe that slushy road conditions may have contributed in the crash. Police were told that the vehicle, which came to final rest blocking the right hand lane and a portion of the left hand lane, caught fire as a result of the crash.”
The driver and sole occupant of the vehicle escaped without serious injury as a result of the collision and called 911. He was assessed and released at the scene by BC Ambulance Service paramedics.
Fire crews required the temporary closure of the highway in order to safely battle the blaze, which spread into the passenger cabin of the vehicle.
Due to the frigid temperatures, highway crews were contacted for roadway maintenance after the water used to battle the blaze, added to the already icy road conditions.
Once cooled, the charred vehicle was removed from the middle of the highway and all lanes of traffic re-opened.
ORIGINAL 7 a.m.
It is a very slow commute from West Kelowna into Kelowna this morning after a vehicle incident on the WR Bennett Bridge.
Northbound traffic is backed up to the Boucherie Road turnoff due to a vehicle incident.
A witness that drove by the scene said a larger vehicle, possibly a mini van or SUV, had front end damage and appears to have caught on fire at some point. It is unclear if anyone was injured.
One lane on the northbound side of the bridge is closed by RCMP heading into Kelowna.