Icy conditions wreaked havoc across much of the province Tuesday and Wednesday, and travel was still not recommended for stretches of highway by Thursday morning.
The Saskatchewan RCMP said their Operational Communication Centre received 59 reports of motor vehicle collisions and 37 non-collision weather-related reports (such as vehicles in ditches and traffic hazards) from noon on Tuesday to 11 a.m. Wednesday.
A collision on Highway 1 near Beverley (just west of Swift Current) was one of the scary incidents.
Swift Current Rural RCMP's investigation determined a tow truck operator was on the side of the road, hooking up a stuck semi, when a second semi collided with the tow truck and first semi.
Three people were transported to the hospital. The passenger from the stuck semi had serious, but non-life-threatening injuries. The tow truck operator had non-life-threatening injuries, and the driver in the stuck semi was brought the hospital as a precaution.
In a statement from Low Cost Towing of Swift Current, Owner Cindy Remple said that after the incident, the operator immediately went to check on other individuals involved in the crash while another motorist on the highway that witnessed the accident called emergency services.
“Our operator was taken to the hospital to get checked over and has been released and is at home with his family,” she stated. “He is scraped up pretty good and is very sore and bruised but will recover.”
There was also a jack-knifed semi and trailer east of Kindersley, resulting in the closure of Highway 7.
The Saskatchewan RCMP provided the following tips for winter driving:
- Scrape all the ice off your windows before driving – if you can't see, you can't drive safely!
- Remove all snow from your vehicle, including from your headlights, taillights and roof.
- Slow down on slippery or snowy roads.
- Be gentle and smooth when you accelerate, brake or steer.
- Using cruise control on icy or snowy roads can be dangerous! If you skid, your vehicle will accelerate and rapidly spin its wheels as it tries to maintain a constant speed.
- Be prepared for anything: consider stocking your vehicle with extra warm clothes, candles, matches, non-perishable snacks, a snow shovel, traction mats, booster cables and a tow rope or chain.
- If you become stranded on the highway, do not leave your vehicle! Turn on your vehicle periodically to warm up, but try to conserve fuel. Make sure your tailpipe remains clear of ice and snow, or carbon monoxide could potentially seep into your vehicle.