Two collisions on area roads and highways kept the Rimbey RCMP busy on Dec. 27, but fortunately no serious injuries resulted in either case.
“At about 10: 30 a.m., we were dispatched to a two-vehicle collision at the intersection of Township Road 41-4 and Range Road 22 where one vehicle was travelling northbound from that intersection and another was coming westbound and they collided at the intersection,” said Const. Daniel Kenny. “There were no traffic control devises or signs at the intersection. Apparently, they had been removed or stolen from the intersection about a month or so prior.”
As a result of the collision, one of the vehicles involved rolled into the ditch, briefly trapping the driver inside.
“It was because the truck had rolled onto its side and he was down on the driver’s side and had some difficulty getting up and out of the vehicle, but by the time emergency services had arrived, he had made it out,” Kenny added. “He was an older male and had some trouble getting out but I believe the other driver helped him out.”
Due to heavy bush on each side of the road, neither driver was aware of the other. Complicating matters was the lack of signage, which could have made the situation much worse and resulted in some extremely serious charges if, in fact, the yield signs used to control the intersection were stolen.
“It’s a serious offense, especially at an intersection such as this one that’s hidden by trees. We could’ve easily had a fatality in this case, or on any other day,” Kenny said. “When a traffic control devise is removed, you never know what will happen. The charges for removing traffic signs could end up being criminal negligence causing death or criminal negligence cause bodily harm, and those are very, very serious charges so removing traffic signs certainly isn’t worth putting someone’s life in danger.”
Both vehicles sustained significant damage although no exact figures were released.
Kenny added that the county has been notified about the missing signs.
Later that day at approximately 6 p.m., police responded to another collision, this time on Highway 53 west of Rimbey at the intersection of Range Road 41 when an eastbound vehicle struck a trailer that was trying to cross the highway.
“That collision was due to heavy fog. A truck pulling a trailer was attempting to cross the highway from Range Road 41 and as it was crossing, another vehicle came out of the fog from the west,” Kenny said. “There wasn’t enough time to brake and the vehicle struck the trailer. The driver of the truck almost made it across the highway but a PT Cruiser ended up colliding with the trailer.”
As a result of that collision, three occupants of the PT Cruiser were transported to the Rimbey Hospital with minor injuries where they were treated and later released.
And while the injuries were relatively minor, the situation could have been much worse and conditions were extremely foggy at the time.
“Drivers must realize that in foggy conditions, their speed must be reduced. Actually, while we investigating the collision, the fog was so heavy that we had another vehicle plow right through the scene and didn’t see anything,” Kenny said of the near-miss. “He didn’t see the emergency lights of the police vehicle, fire trucks or the ambulance. He drove right on through, but was pretty shaken up when I went and talked to him. He didn’t mean to do it, he just didn’t see anything and it goes to show how bad the fog can be around here at times.”
Kenny recommended drivers cut their speed in half during times of intense fog to allow themselves more braking time.
Both the PT Cruiser and trailer were heavily damaged and will most likely be written off.
No charged were laid in either collision.