Notorious road see another accident

Icy road conditions could have been a factor in a terrible crash between a semi truck and a passenger bus that sent at least a dozen people to hospital, including two in critical condition, say police.



Fort McMurray RCMP say a northbound Red Arrow Motorcoach travelling on Highway 63 struck the semi truck around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday near Marina Lake, about 100 km south of Fort McMurray.


"There was blowing snow and icy patches at the time of the incident, but the investigation is still continuing" said Fort McMurray RCMP Const. Martin Gaudet.

Five people were rushed to the Northern Lights Regional Hospital in Fort McMurray, including the drivers of the two vehicles, say police. The seven other passengers were taken to a hospital in Lac La Biche with non-life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the bus, who has over 30 years of "road" experience, was later airlifted to Edmonton and is listed in serious condition, says Joel Trudell, a general manager for Red Arrow Motorcoach.

"Safety is something that we hold very near and dear to our hearts," said Trudell. "That’s why we are extremely concerned with all of our passengers."

The highway is well-known for a high number of collisions, prompting the province to announced plan recently to twin the single-lane highway.

But Liberal Leader Kevin Taft said he’s frustrated over the government’s inability to provide answers for when the province will actually follow through on those plans.

"This desperately needed transportation link between Fort McMurray, the oilsands and the rest of the province, must be considered a low priority by this government," Taft said in a release.

Alberta’s transportation department says twinning the highway is needed because of the high volumes of traffic related to a booming oilsands industry in northern Alberta.

Police say there is still no indication on whether or not charges will be laid in the crash.

overnight shutdown

  • Police shut down a stretch of the highway overnight to investigate the crash before it reopened early yesterday morning.