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Airdrie man facing charges after falling asleep at the wheel on Highway 2

By: Matt Durnan

  |  Posted: Thursday, Apr 17, 2014 11:48 am

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Police say they are planning to charge an Airdrie man after he fell asleep at the wheel of his car on April 10 on Highway 2 near Olds.

Fire, EMS and Olds RCMP, along with Innisfail Integrated Traffic Unit (ITU) were dispatched to the scene at around 5:45 p.m. at the Highway 27 overpass where the man’s vehicle rolled over.

According to ITU officials, the man’s vehicle, a 1989 Ford Thunderbird was travelling southbound when it entered the centre median via a small gap between the cable barrier and the start of a solid guardrail, which protects a large pole that supports an overhead sign.

The car narrowly missed hitting the pole and bounced between the guardrails before rolling and coming to rest upside down on the median between the north and southbound lanes.

The driver, a 51-year-old man from Airdrie was transported to Olds Hospital and was treated for a non-life-threatening laceration before being released.

He could be facing a number of charges including careless driving.

“We do see this every so often on this highway, where drivers lose focus or doze off,” said Cpl. Al Nickolson, Innisfail ITU.

“It can be a long drive if you’re going from Edmonton down to Calgary and people don’t account for the fatigue that sets in.”

Nickolson says that it’s important for drivers to know their limits while driving and to pace themselves.

“Some people want to try to save themselves money if they’re making a long drive by driving overnight and not stopping at a hotel,” he said. “You need to be awake and alert when you’re at the wheel.”

During the cleanup at the accident scene, RCMP investigators noticed drivers passing by were taking pictures of the scene with their cell phones.

Four charges for distracted driving were laid in relation to these incidents.

“Drivers should be paying attention when they’re approaching an accident scene, not looking at their phones,” said Nickolson.

“Taking your eyes off the road for even a couple of seconds can cause an accident.”

If anyone has information on an unsolved crime, contact the Airdrie RCMP at 403-945-7200, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.


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