The deadly crash happened on the Pacific Highway at 32nd Avenue just north of the U.S. border at 11 a.m. PT on Sunday, when a white minivan and a dark-coloured mid-size sedan collided.

Police say the deceased were all occupants of the sedan.

The driver of the white van, a man in his 40s, was the lone occupant of that vehicle. He is in serious condition and has been airlifted to the Royal Columbian Hospital.

RCMP are calling the man a suspect.

RCMP Sgt. Dale Carr said it appears that the westbound travelling Dodge Caravan sped through a red light at the intersection and collided with the mid-sized vehicle.

Carr said the van was travelling at such a high velocity it was found approximately 200 metres west of the intersection.

The force of the crash tore the mid-sized car in half and overturned the van on the highway.

The scene of destruction and devastating injuries rattled witnesses and veteran first responders.

“From my experience of 26 years in the RCMP, attending multiple motor vehicle crashes, multiple homicides – one of the most horrific scenes I’ve ever seen,” Carr told reporters.

Jarred Sukkau was also at the scene.

“It’s not something that anyone would ever want to see.”

Another witness said the crash sounded like a “bomb going off.”

Police say the debris from the collision stretches approximately 200 metres, and includes a pair of sunglasses that were found embedded in a pole.

An eight-block stretch of the Pacific Highway was closed Sunday as police investigated. It is expected the highway will remain closed until at least late Sunday afternoon.

Earlier, police said the death toll was six but later revised it to five.