A Surrey man is the 11th person to die on the southern portion of the Sea to Sky Highway in 2004.
Six people travelling in a four-door Chrysler Intrepid destined for Whistler went off Hwy. 99 just south of Britannia Beach Saturday (Oct. 23) and one of the passengers died.
Ajit Singh Phagura, 58, of Surrey, was pronounced dead at the accident site Saturday morning. The accident happened at the entrance to Minaty Bay at 4:25 a.m. in an area where the highway is three lanes wide.
Cpl. Joe Schofield of the RCMP's Sea to Sky Traffic Services said the vehicle failed to negotiate a right-hand curve coming down the hill.
"The vehicle crossed the centre line, going off the left side of the highway, where it collided with a tree," Schofield reported in a news release that was produced the day of the accident.
Schofield reported that the five people who survived the accident were taken to Squamish General Hospital and Lions Gate Hospital with undetermined injuries.
The blue Intrepid suffered significant damage, particularly at the front end of the vehicle.
The investigation in the crash is ongoing and Schofield said that the RCMP is looking at all potential factors that may have caused the accident, including speed, fatigue and alcohol.
At this point no charges have been laid.
Schofield said the roadway was wet at the time of the crash.
While the RCMP investigators collected evidence at the accident scene, traffic was allowed to travel over the southbound shoulder. Schofield said the single-lane traffic on the side of the highway was put in place to prevent traffic from being held up any longer than necessary.
"The reason we were able to do that there is the fact that there is a shoulder," Schofield said. "What we were looking at was to get traffic moving through while our investigators were on the road collecting data. Any time we are able to get even single-lane alternating traffic moving on the highway that is something we will do. We have to look after our crime scene and the safety of the people at the crime scene as priorities and moving the traffic is right up there as well."
The crash on Saturday follows a two-vehicle collision on Monday, Oct. 18 at Murrin Park that took the life of Jeannie Marie Krawchuk, 42, of Britannia Beach. Krawchuk's southbound vehicle collided with a northbound van.