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UPDATE: Infant dies after cardiac arrest on Coquihalla

RCMP say it’s believed the child died of issues relating to respiratory distress or cardiac arrest while on the way to the Kamloops hospital.

UPDATE: March 21

An infant boy has died following a medical emergency on the Coquihalla Monday afternoon.

According to Merritt RCMP Sgt. Norm Flemming, parents noticed their child was unresponsive in his car seat about 35 kilometres south of Merritt on Highway 5 when they called 911.

The family was en route to B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver.

Emergency crews responded and first aid was administered on scene, police said,

B.C. Air Ambulance was called to transport the boy to the hospital, closing the highway in both directions for several hours.

On the way to the Kamloops Royal Inland Hospital, RCMP say it’s believed the child died of issues relating to respiratory distress or cardiac arrest.

Despite CPR and necessary medical protocols, the “youngster didn’t survive,” he said.

The boy’s death was “unexpected” and unrelated to why the family was going to the children’s hospital, Flemming added.

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UPDATE: March 20 – 6:06 p.m.

Highway 5 is now open in both directions following an incident near exit 256 —Kingsvale.

DriveBC is reporting heavy traffic volume in the area and motorists should prepare for delays in both directions.

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UPDATE: 4:44 p.m.

VSA Highway Maintenance is reporting a medical emergency is the reason Highway 5 remains closed in both directions.

However, DriveBC is referring to the situation as a police incident.

There is no estimated time of re-opening the road.

Drivers should plan accordingly and expect delays.

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The Coquihalla Highway is closed in both directions just south of Merritt as a BC Air Ambulance has been called into the area.

Highway 5 is closed at exit 256, Coldwater Road, and emergency crews are on scene.

Motorists are warned to expect delays. There is currently no estimated time of opening.

Check DriveBC for updates.