By Phil McLachlan
Free Press Staff
A shift in cold weather caught many drivers off guard this weekend, resulting in four accidents from Friday through to Sunday.
According to a press release by the Elk Valley Regional RCMP, several officers and emergency crew members responded to a serious motor vehicle accident at 1430 hours on Saturday, November 5, between a motorcycle and a passenger vehicle on Hwy 3 at the Olsen Overpass between Sparwood and Hosmer.
The driver of the motorcycle was a male in his early 50s from Alberta and was on his 2006 Kawasaki street bike going eastbound towards Alberta, when it drifted across the centre line and collided with a 2010 Toyota Corolla driven by a male in his early 60s from Saskatchewan. Accompanying the male driver of the Toyota Corolla was a female passenger, also in her early 60s. Hwy 3 was shut down in both directions.
The driver of the motorcycle sustained serious injuries however has since been reported to be in stable condition at the hospital. The driver and passenger of the Toyota Corolla both suffered non-life threatening injuries and were treated at the hospital.
Hwy 3 was closed for several hours at the Olsen Overpass for police investigation and to render it safe for emergency crew to clear the highway. The investigation is ongoing. Speed and inexperience are believed to be a factor.
Drivers tried their best to seek an alternate route via some dirt roads, but this was quickly shut down by RCMP due to safety risks.
“The second we start entering into any kind of freeze-thaw type road conditions, it tends to catch drivers off guard,” said Corporal Robert Wright of the Elk Valley Regional RCMP.
“When snow starts sticking a little bit more, and drivers start to anticipate it to be black ice all the time, especially on the pass stretch, people start to slow down a bit. But this time of year tends to catch guys off guard a bit.”
Emergency crews would like to caution drivers to watch out for ice, and take their time proceeding to their destinations to ensure that they arrive safely.