Skip to content

Alberta RCMP respond to more than 400 crashes over three days

Central Alberta region led the way with 157 collisions as early winter storms played havoc with road conditions.
A motor vehicle crash and pile-up on Highway 2 near the Olds overpass at Highway 27 that occurred at about 1 p.m. on Nov. 5. The crash involved 15 motor vehicles. There were no major injuries. Facebook photo

INNISFAIL, Alta. – RCMP say central and southern Alberta were joint epicentres of the early pre-winter blast that slammed through the province during the first week of November and continuing its dangerous havoc into this week.

“We're just about to put out a notification advising users of the QEII to take extra precautions. It will be an advisory for the whole QEII from Edmonton to Calgary,” said Cpl. Troy Savinkoff yesterday morning (Nov. 7).

Savinkoff said across Alberta from Nov. 4 to 6 RCMP responded to a total of 417 motor vehicles collisions. The central Alberta region led the way with 157 responses, followed by southern Alberta with 149, eastern Alberta 56 and western Alberta 55.

“We always see an uptick, especially with the early winter storms in the season,” said Savinkoff. “Hopefully, people will slow down just a little bit and we can get those numbers down as the winter continues.”

RCMP Cpl. Eric Ponton, the commander for the Innisfail RCMP traffic unit, said his seven-member unit, which covers the Highway 2 area from Highway 11A at Red Deer to Highway 582 near Didsbury, responded to about 50 motor vehicles collisions from Nov. 2 to 6.

“The road conditions all weekend were bad. Visibility was really bad,” said Ponton. “The road conditions on Saturday were to be avoided at all costs, even if people had to get to places. Saturday was really bad.”

He said as of Monday Nov. 7 the weather and roads appeared to improve but noted snow had begun to fall by mid-morning.

“The snow is actually coming down right now so it's not going to get better today,” he. “If people have to take off to go somewhere, do it slow and if they can delay their travels, they should do it for at least a couple of days.”

The pile-up on Nov. 5 at the Highway 2 and Highway 27 overpass near Olds, which was initially responded to by the Olds RCMP detachment, was “probably” the biggest highway crash in his unit’s jurisdiction, he said.

Ponton added RCMP can confirm at this time that 15 vehicles were involved in the collision.

He said the first call came in at about 1 p.m.

“Initially the call came for a semi-truck that was off the southbound lane (QEII) and in the ditch and partially blocking the right lane on the southbound lane,” he said.

“And then due to road conditions people didn't have time to stop or did try to stop and the highway was too slippery. That’s when the (many) other vehicles started piling up together.”

There were some minor injuries, but none were deemed serious, he said.

Based on the RCMP’s preliminary investigation road conditions were a factor in the pile-up, he said.

“I'm unable to speak up about the speed of the vehicles involved but it's mostly because of the road conditions and visibility also was not the greatest,” he said, adding traffic flow on the QEII was delayed and re-routed. “Traffic was delayed on this stretch of highway for a little while.

“Whatever could be rerouted around was rerouted. Everybody else had to wait on the highway.”


Johnnie Bachusky

About the Author: Johnnie Bachusky

Read more