Highway 63 Crash Between Edmonton and Fort McMurray Kills 2 More

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HIGHWAY 63
A Highway 63 crash, between Edmonton and Fort McMurray has claimed two more lives. (AP file photo) | AP

WANDERING RIVER, Alta. - A busy northern Alberta highway between Edmonton and Fort McMurray that is known for accidents has claimed another two lives and left an eight-year-old boy in critical condition.

RCMP say the latest crash on Highway 63 happened Sunday morning when two vehicles collided near the community of Wandering River, about 200 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.

Police say a 52-year-old woman died at the scene, while an eight-year-old in the woman's vehicle was flown by helicopter to Edmonton.

A 28-year-old man who was a passenger in the second vehicle was also airlifted to Edmonton with serious injuries.

The 26-year-old man who was driving that vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene.

Forty-eight people have died since 2006 on the highway that links the Edmonton area to the oilsands region.

RCMP say their preliminary investigation indicates that driver error played a part in Sunday's collision.

In April, two children and a pregnant woman were among seven people killed in a fiery head-on collision.

Alberta's NDP was quick to issue a response on Sunday to the crash, claiming the province has failed to deliver on promises to make the highway safer.

"All summer long, Albertans have seen the government announcing more action. But the deaths and collisions keep happening. It's hard not to get cynical when you see press releases and not enough action," Alberta NDP Transportation Critic Deron Bilous said in a news release.

Bilous, along with the mayor of Fort McMurray, has called for the government to fast-track the twinning of the highway.

In July, the province said it would assign 16 more sheriffs and RCMP to patrol Highway 63 by next year, including four officers by the end of August. The province also said it would install electric digital signs that will show how fast people are driving.

The move was in response to recommendations from a report that Premier Alison Redford asked for following calls for the government to speed up its twinning of the road dubbed the "Highway of Death."

The province announced in 2006 it would begin twinning the 240-kilometre highway, but since then only a handful of kilometres south of Fort McMurray have been completed.

Earlier this summer, Alberta announced it was speeding up three construction projects along Highway 63.

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