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Fatality forces closure of Highway 93 South

“Sadly, it is a fatality,” Cpl Madonna Saunderson of BC RCMP.

KOOTENAY NATIONAL PARK  – A fatality on Highway 93 South forced the closure of the highway in Kootenay National Park for several hours last week.

RCMP said it was a two-vehicle collision involving a semi and a car.

“Sadly, it is a fatality,” said Cpl. Madonna Saunderson of BC RCMP.

The accident happened just after 2 a.m. on Thursday (Feb. 2) near Hector Gorge between Kootenay Crossing warden station and the Simpson River trail, about 46 kilometres north of Radium Hot Springs.

DriveBC announced the road was reopened before noon on Thursday.

Parks Canada staff assisted with the response to the two-vehicle collision. The incident was also attended by the BC RCMP, BC Ambulance, the Radium Fire and Invermere Rescue services, and Banff EMS.

“Parks Canada’s Highway Operations Unit monitored the highway closure, communicated updates to DriveBC and managed the highway reopening,” said James Eastham, a Parks Canada spokesperson for Lake Louise, Yoho and Kootenay field unit in an email.

“Parks Canada would like to extend its sincere condolences to all those who were impacted by this event.”

The two-lane highway has been the scene of numerous accidents, particularly during times traffic is diverted through Kootenay National Park because major road construction in Kicking Horse Canyon east of Golden forces the closure of the Trans-Canada Highway.

In Kootenay National Park, new mitigation measures include the installation of new speed readers to notify traffic of their actual speed at select locations and additional lights on recommended speed signs to increase awareness.

Enhanced patrols and enforcement along Highway 93 South are happening.

Cell phone coverage is not available in Kootenay National Park, however, there are emergency satellite phones at Marble Canyon, Kootenay Crossing Operations Centre, Simpson River trailhead and Kootenay River day-use area.