A flurry of winter weather made for a nasty commute in the Lower Mainland on Tuesday morning.
Unexpected snowfall made the roads and highways slippery, causing vehicles to go out of control and jammed traffic for hours.
Along Route 1 through Abbotsford, several vehicles were seen to fall into a ditch or flip over on the median.
But the side roads also proved challenging.
In Chilliwack, one person died and another was airlifted to hospital after a vehicle collided. Police did not directly blame elements of the crash, but said an initial investigation suggested the vehicle had “lost traction” and rolled down a 300-meter embankment.
A five-car chain reaction accident in Langley resulted in one car crashing into a house’s porch.
“I think what happened was there was a minor rear end MVA and the vehicle that broke into the house missed it and missed it and obviously didn’t make it in time…and the other vehicle that came down the hill “We were hit by a vehicle that was already parked on the road,” said Doug Simpson, Platoon Leader of the Langley Township Fire Department.
“The roads are slippery everywhere, I think because the snow is so moist.
In Langley Township and Abbotsford, emergency services responded to approximately 20 calls of snow-related incidents.
Bruce Ferguson, Langley’s acting fire chief, has urged drivers to adjust their driving for road conditions.
“Slow down. Don’t rush. If you don’t have to go out, stay home until the roads are cleared,” he said.
In another accident in Langley, a semi truck ran off the road at Block 6600 on 264th Street.
“My truck went out of control, skidded and slammed into a pole.”
“Every driver on the road should try to drive carefully,” he said.
Mainroad Contracting said in a statement that crews will salt and salt roads in the area in preparation for the expected 2 cm of wet snow overnight. Lane closures have also taken place on the Portman and Alex Fraser bridges, and crews are working to prepare the crossings for more snow.
Motorists are urged to check DriveBC for the latest information on closures and other issues to ensure their vehicles are prepared for winter conditions.