Traffic is backed up in both directions and people are out of their cars after a bad motor vehicle accident at Hell’s Gate on Highway 1. (Facebook photo)

Traffic is backed up in both directions and people are out of their cars after a bad motor vehicle accident at Hell’s Gate on Highway 1. (Facebook photo)

UPDATE: Police watchdog investigating Hell’s Gate crash after man dies

Police responded to a report of a man in crisis, and watched as he drove over a steep embankment

Highway 1 is closed in both direction’s at Hell’s Gate after a bad motor vehicle crash.

A vehicle reportedly hit a power pole and careened down the hill before catching fire.

The incident appears connected to an early morning report to RCMP of a man in crisis. Shortly after 9 a.m., members from the Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachment were told that a man intended to harm himself by driving off a bridge. Police found him driving near Hell’s Gate, but before they could stop him he drove over an embankment with a significant drop.

He was pronounced dead at the scene and the Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia (IIO BC) is now investigating. The IIO is an independent police watchdog that looks into any police incident involving injury or death.

The tragic incident also knocked out power for several BC Hydro customers. Seventy-three were impacted by the outage, with BC Hydro saying power went off just before noon.

Telus spokesperson Lena Chen emailed the Hope Standard to say that the accident caused extensive damage to their infrastructure, disrupting internet and home phone service for about 200 customers in Boston Bar, Hope, Lytton and Spences Bridge.

“Some wireless sites in the area have also been affected, which means customers living or traveling along this stretch of highway may experience interrupted cell phone services,” Chen said. “Once RCMP grants us access to the site, our crews will begin working to fully restore services. BC Hydro will assess the damage first to ensure the scene is safe and there are no live power lines before our crews can begin working to repair our cables. At this time, we do not have an estimated time when service will be fully restored, and will provide updates at telus.com/outages.”


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

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Power is out for 73 BC Hydro customers in the Fraser Canyon after a bad motor vehicle accident at Hell’s Gate on Highway 1. (Facebook photo)

Power is out for 73 BC Hydro customers in the Fraser Canyon after a bad motor vehicle accident at Hell’s Gate on Highway 1. (Facebook photo)

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