BARRHEAD — One of the drivers involved in a two-vehicle collision at the junction between Highways 33 and 18 at around 5 p.m. on Sept. 13 has died, while the other remains in hospital.
Emergency services personnel had to extricate the drivers of both vehicles, cutting off the roof of the vehicle that had landed on its side.
Cpl. Filipe Vicente of the Barrhead RCMP said the first driver, a Barrhead male in his 80s, was taken to the Barrhead Healthcare Centre with the intention that he would be airlifted by STARS Air Ambulance.
Unfortunately, Vicente said he passed away from his injuries not long after arriving at the hospital.
The second driver, a male in his 60s from Whitecourt, was successfully airlifted to another hospital, and Vicente said the RCMP had received an update on the morning of Sept. 16 that he was still in the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Vicente said they had a collision reconstructionist attend the scene, but their report has yet to be completed.
As such, he couldn’t speak to the cause of the accident or if any charges would be laid.
Vicente said the Barrhead RCMP also attended a second serious accident the following morning: a rear-end collision involving a semi-truck on Highway 18 at Range Road 44 that miraculously did not result in any injuries.
At around 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 14, a pair of vehicles — including a pick-up truck — were parked behind a school bus along Highway 18.
Vicente said the bus had just closed its emergency lights and pulled in its stop sign when a semi hauling two loaded trailers travelling at highway speeds struck the pick-up truck.
The truck “catapulted” over an approach and landed on the other side in the ditch, Vicente said.
“The vehicle was basically completely demolished, but somehow (the driver) managed to escape without any injuries,” he said. “We were all very shocked.”
Although the driver did not require any emergency services on the scene, Vicente noted they encouraged her to still get checked out.
The position of the sun on the horizon was apparently a factor in the incident, as visibility was reduced. Nevertheless, the semi driver was charged with careless driving.
“People need to drive according to the road conditions,” Vicente said. “It could have been much worse. There was definitely someone looking over the driver.”