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Accident, minor rockslide back up traffic on Sea to Sky Highway

Rockslide consists of about a dozen small rocks

Traffic was backed up on the Sea to Sky Highway for over two hours Monday, the result of a two-vehicle collision south of Porteau Cove and a small landslide near Lions Bay.

The collision, involving a Ford pickup truck and a Volkswagen Routan, occurred just south of Loggers Creek at 10:45 a.m. The Ford was heading southbound and crossed the centre line, hitting the other car. The truck then rolled over in the collision.

Three people from the two vehicles had to be transported by air and land ambulances to hospitals in the Lower Mainland. The highway was closed as emergency crews took occupants out of the vehicles.

Whistler resident Tim Koshul was just past Porteau Cove on his way to Vancouver to buy furniture for his new home at Cheakamus Crossing when he got caught behind the traffic.

"As far as the eye can see, people just pulled to the side," he said at the time. "It must have just happened as we got into this area because we had a Squamish Fire Rescue truck pass us and two police cars."

Koshul waited for about an hour before traffic got moving again. He anticipated there were about 80 to 100 cars ahead of him and hundreds behind him.

Traffic got moving again at about 12:15 p.m. through alternating lanes. The highway was cleared to all traffic at 1 p.m. The incident remains under investigation.

The accident, however, may not have been the only factor holding up traffic that day. A small landslide happened about 500 metres north of Deeks Creek Bridge, which is about 17 kilometres north of Horseshoe Bay.

A spokesman with B.C.'s Ministry of Transportation and Highways said the slide, which it turns out consisted of a dozen small rocks no larger than golf balls, occurred about 10:20 a.m. A maintenance contractor arrived on site and the slide was swept clear in a matter of minutes.

The small slide happened in an area not far from a bigger one that occurred in the summer of 2008 closer to Porteau Cove. That slide closed the Sea to Sky Highway for days. The spokesman said extensive rock work took place along the highway after the 2008 slide, work that included scaling, bolting, trimming and meshing.

He said this came in addition to regular rock work that takes place every year along the corridor.