Saturday morning snow wreaks havoc on Alberta’s highways
Ryan White, CTV Calgary
According to RCMP, the return of winter conditions has resulted in poor driving conditions on highways throughout central and southern Alberta and travel in the region is not recommended.
Two Saturday morning crashes near Crossfield, involving more than thirty vehicles, brought the QEII highway to a standstill.
Shortly after 8:00 a.m., RCMP responded to four multi vehicle collisions, and numerous single vehicle crashes, between Airdrie and Carstairs including:
• A 20 vehicle crash, including a semi truck, on northbound QEII near Highway 72
• A 15 vehicle crash, including three semi trucks, on southbound QEII near Highway 73
• A four vehicle collision involving one semi truck on southbound QEII near the Dicson Stevenson Rest Stop. One man was transported to hospital in serious condition with non-life threatening conditions.
• A four vehicle collision involving three semi trucks and one passenger car on southbound QEII near the Acme overpass. Three occupants of the car, all adult males, were transported to hospital. One of the men was transported in serious condition with life threatening injuries.
Visibility along Highway 2 between Calgary and Edmonton remains extremely poor due to white out conditions.
Strathmore RCMP is advising motorists to avoid travel on the Trans-Canada Highway between Calgary and Brooks as blowing snow has made for extremely poor road conditions.
For up to date Alberta highway conditions, visit Alberta 511
Carissa Vescio, communications advisor for the City of Calgary roads, told CTV News channel that the city prepared for the storm by ensuring that all vehicles and crews were ready to go.
“The blowing snow does make it a bit more challenging from a roads maintenance perspective, but we are maintaining all of our priority on (priority) one routes, and those are routes in Calgary that carry over 20,000 vehicles per day, so we’re concentrating on those major routes at the time,” Vescio said.
Vescio advises motorists to drive slower, and to ensure that windshields and vehicle lights are clear of snow and ice.
If highway travel is necessary during major storms, the RCMP recommends motorists:
• Drive at an appropriate speed for the conditions
• Drive with headlights on, do not rely on daytime running lights
• Avoid using cruise control
• Avoid sudden moves or slamming brakes
• Allow additional stopping distance
• Check highway conditions in advance
• Bring a fully charged cell phone
• Prepare an emergency road kit
According to the RCMP, emergency road kits should consist of supplies including:
• blankets/sleeping bags
• extra clothing and footwear
• non-perishable food
• candles in a deep tin
• waterproof matches
• first aid kit
• flashlight with extra batteries
• fire extinguisher
• booster cables
• ice scraper
• snow brush
• paper towels
• a map
• sand, road salt or kitty litter
• a shovel