Hours after a fatal accident on the Trans-Canada Highway near Belle Plaine on Tuesday night, members of the Regina RCMP detachment were finally able to open one lane of traffic eastbound from Moose Jaw, police stated in a press release on Wednesday.
“Traffic was restricted to one lane for several hours until crews could clear the vehicles involved in the collision," RCMP Cpl. D. Pugh stated in a news release.
When asked Wednesday for an update on the accident, RCMP Cpl. Rob King told the Times-Herald that no name had yet been released.
"I doubt one will be released," he said. "The investigation is still ongoing.”
Asked what caused the delay in re-opening the highway, King said that after a vehicle entered the ditch, other drivers stopped to look or offer help, leading to further vehicles going off the road and "all over the place."
In a press release, RCMP media co-ordinator Natalie Gray said the fatal collision, occuring 10 kilometres east of Belle Plaine, involved an eastbound semi truck colliding with a minivan parked beside the road. A pedestrian, a male in his mid-40s, was struck and died at the scene.
“Investigators believe the deceased pedestrian was assisting with a vehicle that was in the ditch at the time of the collision," Gray stated. "After the initial collision, there were six or more other collisions in this immediate area relating to the initial collision and/or road conditions.”
Gray added that no one was taken to hospital in relation to the collision. Traffic in the area began clearing near midnight.
According to the RCMP, the fatal vehicle collision on the Trans-Canada Highway near the Pilot Butte exit involved a westbound minivan being rear ended by a westbound semi truck.
Gray said a 45-year-old male, a passenger in the minivan, died at the scene. Seven people were taken to hospital with undetermined injuries. A total of seven people were travelling in the minivan and one person was in the semi truck at the time of the collision.
This investigation is ongoing; the family of the deceased has not granted permission to release his name.
Road conditions were back to normal Wednesday, according to Moose Jaw & District EMS and the Environment Canada Weather Office.
Emergency services were kept busy with multiple road collisions on Tuesday evening, due to icy road conditions and poor visibility.
“We had members in Regina today and they reported conditions were much better,” Moose Jaw & District EMS co-ordinator Ray Francis told the Times-Herald. “They did advise people to take it slow, due to a number of vehicles still being pulled out by tow-trucks along the side of the highway.”
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