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Highway 18 head-on crash claims two

Two Westlock-area residents died Tuesday afternoon as a result of a head-on collision on Highway 18 near Clyde.
Westlock RCMP Cpl. Dave Casey and Const. Bob Archer, the RCMP’s collision reconstructionist, inspect the damage to the minivan.
Westlock RCMP Cpl. Dave Casey and Const. Bob Archer, the RCMP’s collision reconstructionist, inspect the damage to the minivan.

Two Westlock-area residents died Tuesday afternoon as a result of a head-on collision on Highway 18 near Clyde.

Emergency crews blocked off the highway between Range Roads 254 and 255, near the weigh scales, for nearly four hours after the noon-hour accident.

A cube van driven by a 71-year-old man was travelling eastbound while a minivan driven by a 67-year-old woman was traveling westbound, according to an RCMP news release. Witnesses said the minivan appeared to drift into oncoming traffic and the collision ensued.

Members of the Westlock Fire Department used their extrication equipment to free the woman from the minivan, and she was then transported to hospital by the STARS air ambulance.

The cube van driver was pronounced dead at the scene, while the minivan driver died at the University of Alberta Hospital.

Neither alcohol, weather nor road conditions were factors in this collision, but RCMP traffic collision services personnel continue to investigate.

“We’re working with the medical examiners to determine if there was a medical cause,” said Westlock RCMP Const. Dion Barry, adding the vehicle is also being examined to determine if there was a mechanical issue.

About 15 emergency services personnel from six different agencies responded to the scene, he said: Westlock RCMP, Westlock and Thorhild EMS, Westlock Fire Department, STARS and the Barrhead Fire Department.

“Barrhead fire was also on scene with their extrication tools, as well.”