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Motorcyclist dead in head-on crash in Banff

Police say the position of the sun may have played a role in deadly crash in Banff.
Banff RCMP
Banff RCMP

BANFF, Alta – A 38-year-old motorcyclist died in a head-on collision on Tunnel Mountain Road in Banff on Canada Day.

Banff RCMP say the driver of an SUV travelling towards the townsite by the Hoodoo trail crossed over the centre line and crashed head-on with the motorcyclist coming from the opposite direction at about 5:30 p.m. on July 1.

Police say early evidence suggests the driver of the SUV may have been blinded by the sun.

“One item subject to investigation is the position of the sun,” said Staff Sgt. Mike Buxton-Carr, the detachment commander for Banff RCMP.

“Some witnesses said it was extremely sunny in that direction.”

Staff Sgt. Buxton Carr said the investigation continues, but confirmed alcohol was not a factor in the accident, nor do fatigue and distraction appear to be.

He said speed also does not appear to have played a role, but that’s still inconclusive.

“We’ve used our collision reconstruction experts team and it’s still subject to investigation,” said Staff Sgt. Buxton-Carr.

“We’re hoping we can confirm what caused the SUV to leave its lane and enter the motorcycle lane.”

On July 2, a 31-year-old Alberta man died following a head-on collision on the Trans-Canada Highway about 17 kilometres west of Field in Yoho National Park, B.C.

An RCMP officer with B.C.’s Integrated Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Service of BC attended the scene and conducted an investigation in conjunction with the BC Coroners Service.

Evidence at the scene suggested that the driver of the automobile was heading westbound on Hwy 1 when he drifted into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with the driver of the semi-truck, who swerved into the eastbound ditch in an attempt to avoid the collision.

The highway was shut down for several hours.