On Dec. 19, four vehicle accidents occurred within a few hours along Highway 3 between Sparwood and Coleman, Alta. Three of four accidents were single car incidents while the fourth, which stopped the highway for three hours, was between two transport trucks.
“Within a two hour span we had four accidents,” said Sgt. Will Thien of the Elk Valley RCMP. “It was still extremely icy between Sparwood and Coleman on the Alberta side. That usually gets that way because the trees cover the road. The sun comes out and melts the stuff on the road but doesn’t really dry anything.”
Thien said that no one was seriously injured, but one accident did have a driver attended to by paramedics.
“We started with one vehicle off-road five kilometers east of Sparwood. The vehicle flipped into the ditch, the three occupants were not injured. Shortly after that, a single vehicle did not roll, but went off the highway and landed in Michel Creek. The two occupants of the vehicle did not sustain any injuries that we know of,” said Thien. “The third one was about 10:30 a.m. This driver was attended to by an ambulance but released with minor injuries if any.”
Due to previous accidents being cleared from the highway the first transport was stopped waiting for the roadway to be cleared of debris. It is believed that due to weather conditions the second transport rear-ended the first transport.
“I think what happened was the first truck was stopped because the highway crews and emergency services were dealing with the three collisions prior. By this time, the road was a bit wet and the sun was above the eastbound lane and caused some glare,” said Thien. “The second transport truck collided into the back of the first one. According to the transport that did the rear-ending there was some glare from the road in their eyes.”
It’s believed that the second transport hit the first with speed. The driver of the second truck was brought to the hospital but soon released with what is believed to be minor injuries. “We do not have any exact speeds but the collision was witnessed by the Sparwood Fire Department and they estimate the speed to be 80 or 90 km. The cab was demolished and the driver had to be extracted by the firefighters and he was transported to the hospital for precautionary reasons,” said Thien. “It was determined the driver sustained only minor bruising and cuts, maybe a mild concussion but that is not for us to formally release because we do not know.”
The last accident shut down the highway for three hours before being partially re-opened via an alternating single lane of Highway 3. Thien reminded everyone to drive with caution at this time of year.