JASPER, Alta. — Six people have died following a highway crash in Alberta's Jasper National Park.
RCMP say the multi-vehicle collision happened shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday on Highway 93 near Sunwapta Falls, about 60 kilometres south of the Jasper townsite.
Blain Fairbairn with Alberta Health Services says six people were pronounced dead at the scene.
Two others were transported to hospital.
STARS air ambulance service says a 26-year-old woman was flown to Edmonton in critical condition.
The other patient went to Jasper hospital with unknown injuries.
Traffic rerouted for hours
Fairbairn said emergency crews were also busy with a second accident that happened on the same highway about three hours later. In that crash, six patients were taken to Jasper hospital with non life-threatening injuries.
Traffic was rerouted for a number of hours in both directions while police investigated and cleared the road.
Rob Jeffrey of Halifax was driving to Jasper with his wife and three young children when they got stuck in the backup of traffic from the first crash. While other motorists pulled out tents to settle in for the night, he and his family tried to catch some sleep in their rented minivan.
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Six others killed in recent days
The highway opened again about 6 a.m., said Jeffrey, and as they drove by the crash site there was nothing left to see but burn marks on the road.
"Part of the northbound lane towards Jasper had been charred," he said.
Crashes on Alberta highways claimed six other lives in recent days.
Three people were killed Sunday, including a five-year-old, after a truck and an SUV vehicle collided head on near Sylvan Lake, south of Edmonton. And early Tuesday, three people died when a car and SUV crashed near the community of Priddis, southwest of Calgary.
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