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Manitoba woman dies in B.C. highway collision

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A Manitoban woman has died after a head-on vehicle collision on Highway 97 north of Kelowna Saturday morning.

The woman has not yet been identified by name. She died at the scene of the crash.

Just before 8:30 a.m., emergency crews arrived at the site of the crash on Highway 97 to find a Dodge pickup truck resting on its side, in flames, and a white Ford sedan with major damage on its front end.

Upon investigation, officers discovered that the pickup was headed southbound in the left lane when it veered over the centre line, hitting the white sedan in the right lane head on.

"The force of the head on impact caused the pickup to roll in the northbound lane, coming to rest on the passenger side and pinching the front end of a Black Pontiac sedan," said Const. Steve Holmes of the Central Okanagan Traffic Services in a news release.

The pickup caught fire and passersby were able to get its driver, a 33-year-old man from Comox, out of the vehicle as it burned.

A man and woman in their 60s from Manitoba were caught in the white Ford sedan and had to be pulled from the car by fire crews using the jaws of life. The Manitoba man, who was driving, suffered serious head injuries and was rushed to Kelowna General Hospital. The woman died on the scene.

The pickup driver was also taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and the driver of the black Pontiac wasn’t hurt.

Highway 97 was closed in both directions for almost five hours as RCMP traffic analysts investigated the incident. They say speed may have been a factor at play and are still trying to figure out why the pickup driver crossed into oncoming traffic.

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