Storm wreaks havoc on Highway 2, results in multiple accidents
By: Matt Durnan
| Posted: Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 12:03 pm
A winter storm caused a number of multi-vehicle collisions on Highway 2 on Nov. 16 that landed at least four people in hospital, one with life- threatening injuries.
For the fourth weekend in a row, southern Alberta was hit with significant amounts of snowfall, which caused road conditions to deteriorate rapidly.
Poor driving conditions on Highway 2 north of Calgary prompted the RCMP and Sheriffs Department to issue an advisory on Nov. 16, urging motorists to stay off highways unless absolutely necessary.
“The combination of the temperature turning snow to ice, slippery conditions and the blowing snow that made for limited visibility created some very treacherous driving conditions,” said Airdrie Integrated Traffic Unit (ITU) Cpl. Darrin Turnbull.
On Nov. 16 between 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m., multiple collisions along Highway 2, caused police to shut down Highway 567 (Veterans Boulevard) for northbound traffic and at Highway 2A (Acme Overpass) for southbound motorists.
A four-vehicle collision, which involved three semi trucks and one passenger car, occurred on Highway 2 in the southbound lanes near the Acme Overpass (exit 305).
Three men from the car were taken to hospital, one of them was listed in serious condition with life-threatening injuries.
In the southbound lanes near the Dickson Stevenson Rest Stop, a four-vehicle collision involving one semi truck sent one adult man to hospital with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries.
In the northbound lane on Highway 2 at Highway 72, there was a pileup of 20 vehicles including a semi truck; minor injuries were reported at the scene.
Making conditions worse was a 15-car pileup that included three semi trucks and occurred in the southbound lanes of Highway 2 near Highway 73 with a number of motorists sustaining minor injuries.
“These collisions occur when people just aren’t leaving enough time and distance between themselves and other vehicles,” said Turnbull.
“When the weather is like this you can’t be driving at speeds you normally would. If a truck jackknifes in front of you, you’re not going to have enough time to stop.”
Turnbull added that when road conditions become dangerous, the safest course of action is to not drive at all.
“If the conditions aren’t good, don’t put yourself and others at risk, save the travel for another day,” he said.
The RCMP released winter driving tips to keep motorists safe throughout the winter.
• Keep your headlights on at all time; low beams are more effective than high beams in fog or snowy conditions.
• Ensure your vehicle is in safe mechanical condition. It is not recommended to travel in winter conditions with summer tires.
• On a wet or slick surface, allow yourself at least three times the normal following distance to stop.
• Remember that bridge decks may be slippery even when other parts of the highway are not.
• Keep an emergency road kid in your car with items like a flashlight, batteries, extra clothing, waterproof matches, first aid kit, booster cables, ice scraper, snow brush, road map and compass.