NEWS

Highway pileup near Edmonton leaves 100 injured

03/21/2013 05:23 EDT | Updated 05/21/2013 05:12 EDT
Alberta Health Services confirms about 100 people were injured — one seriously — in a multi-vehicle pileup on Highway 2 south of Edmonton, near Leduc, that occurred during a spring snowstorm which caused havoc on area highways.

Earlier in the day it had been reported that 300 people were injured, but AHS has since readjusted its numbers.

AHS said 22 patients needing medical treatment were taken to hospitals in Edmonton, Red Deer, Leduc, St. Albert, Fort Saskatchewan, Devon, Wetaskiwin, Stony Plain, Lamont and Camrose, while about 80 others were treated at the scene.

AHS said that EMS staff will treat and take the most seriously hurt patients to hospitals by ambulance; the rest will be transported by bus.

RCMP said that a multiple-vehicle crash around 11:30 in the northbound lanes of Highway 2 near the Highway 13 overpass caused several more collisions, which ultimately involved more than 100 vehicles.

Derek Fildebrandt, who was travelling on a Red Arrow passenger bus at the time, estimated at least 200 vehicles were involved and said he saw one man with what appeared to be broken legs.

“It’s a massive, massive crash,” he said. “It extended, got to be at least a few kilometres.”

Fildebrandt, who is the Alberta director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, said he saw vehicles go off the road.

“Cars flying off into the ditches beside us, smashing into each other on the road and in the ditches," he said. "Very little room to manoeuvre."

Major ring road closed around Edmonton

The Leduc crash wasn't the only incident tying up roads and police.

The weather is blamed for a multi-vehicle collision near Athatbasca, 150 kilometres north of Edmonton, that killed three adults and sent two more and a child to hospital.

In Edmonton alone police recorded 133 collisions Thursday, nine resulting in injuries.

Anthony Henday Drive, the major ring road encircling Edmonton, was closed Thursday afternoon for almost two hours due to near whiteout conditions.

Highway 16 eastbound between Range Road 13 and 15 has been closed due to the number of collisions, including one which left a semi-trailer blocking several lanes.

Another collision involving transport trucks is causing traffic tie-ups in both directions on Highway 16 at Highway 60.

Highway 2 was closed near Wetaskiwin after a multi-vehicle crash north of the Highway 13 overpass. RCMP said that northbound traffic was being redirected onto Highway 13.

Edmonton police reported 17 collisions between 6 and 9 a.m. on Thursday: 12 property collisions, three hit-and-runs, and two collisions that resulted in injuries.

Alberta Transportation has closed Highway 12 from east of Castor to the Saskatchewan border and Highway 13 from east of Hardisty to the Saskatchewan border due to rapidly deteriorating conditions.

Highway 41 is closed from New Brigden to south of Wainwright.

The Alberta Motor Association is reporting highways to the east and south are partly covered with snow and ice.

RCMP are advising people to stay off Highways 28 and 63 in the Redwater area because of blowing snow and icy roads.

Police also report drifting snow and black ice on highways and roads in Lac La Biche County.

Travel is being discouraged on the QEII from Red Deer to Didsbury due to blowing snow and reduced visibility.

The Edmonton area is expected to receive about 10 centimetres of snow on Thursday.

CBC meteorologist Stephanie Barsby expected conditions to get worse as the day progresses, particularly as wind gusts pick up to 40 km/h this afternoon.

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