UPDATE: Three people died Tuesday afternoon in a head-on collision outside of Grand Forks. The victims were from Castlegar and area.
According to a news release issued by police Wednesday, Grand Forks RCMP and West Kootenay Traffic Services responded to the two-vehicle accident around 3 p.m. on Tuesday, nine kilometres west of Grand Forks.
According to RCMP, a westbound 2012 red Hyundai Tucson with three occupants crossed the centre line and collided head-on with an eastbound 1996 green and white Ford pick-up carrying two people.
The 37-year-old female driver and a 37-year-old female passenger of the Hyundai were pronounced dead on scene, as was the 40-year-old male driver of the Ford truck.
The occupants of the Hyundai were from Castlegar and the occupants of the Ford were from Genelle.
RCMP report the surviving passengers are in critical condition and were airlifted “from the area for treatment.”
Grand Forks RCMP Sgt. Jim Fenske also confirmed that a dog was in the Ford truck at the time of the crash. Fenske said the dog bolted from the vehicle, and despite several hours of searching, remains missing.
“She just took off, no one could catch her,” Fenske said, noting officers looked in the bush around the scene for “four or five” hours. The dog is a small, female mini pincher and Jack Russell terrier mix named Sable. Fenske said she appeared uninjured judging by how fast she ran, but might be scared.
Fenske said hopefully, someone has Sable and will come forward. Anyone with information about Sable is asked to call the Nelson SPCA.
Nelson SPCA posted a call on Facebook for the dog, noting she is friendly and will come for treats although may be “traumatized.” She was wearing a blue harness at the time of the crash, but no pictures are available.
RCMP and the BC Coroner Service are investigating the crash. Police are not releasing further information at this time.