Police are urging drivers to slow down after a fatal two-vehicle accident in McBride that claimed the life of a 70-year-old man Friday morning.
RCMP investigators now believe the driver of a westbound Toyota compact passenger car travelling on Highway 16 lost control of his vehicle and skidded sideways into the path of an oncoming Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck carrying three people.
The driver's side door of the Toyota took the brunt of the T-bone impact. The man was rushed to McBride hospital but died of his injuries.
The accident occurred at about 8 a.m. on Friday.
Initially, RCMP thought the driver of the Toyota was trying to make a left-hand off the highway onto the south frontage road at McBride, but are now convinced the vehicle was still travelling westbound on the highway when it crossed the centre line. While road conditions were slippery at the time of the accident, police don't think was the cause of the accident and suspect speed was a factor.
"The key message we want to get out is that people are not slowing down -- they have to get in their heads that we are not in summer anymore," said North District RCMP Staff Sgt. Pat McTiernan. "We counted a dozen vehicles in the ditch coming out to the accident from Prince George to McBride."
McTiernan said two of those other highway accidents Friday resulted in injuries. He warned drivers to pay close attention to changing road conditions, especially early in the morning and late in the day, when freezing and thawing can deceive motorists into a false sense of security. He said road surfaces that are in the sun could be bare and dry, but corners or areas that remain shaded could be covered in frost or black ice, which take drivers by surprise.
"We don't have that soft cushion of snow in the ditch so if they go off the road they're hitting frozen boulders and the potential for injury is high," said McTiernan.
Any witnesses to Friday's fatal accident are being asked to call Prince George RCMP regional provincial traffic services unit at 250-649-4004.
Police have identified the deceased man but will not be releasing the name. Public release of the identity of fatal accident victims is now the jurisdiction of the B.C. Coroner.