A recent spate of highway collisions has Boundary Mounties warning drivers that winter hasn’t let go of its icy grip on area roads, especially after dark.
Grand Forks RCMP attended three single-vehicle rollovers along Highway 3 between Wednesday and Thursday, March 23-24, according to Sgt. Darryl Peppler. The first and third incidents happened near Christina Lake, the second near Wilgress Lake.
Police have ruled out drugs and alcohol in all three, though it appears black ice and speed contributed to each of them.
“Even if the sun is shining and the snow is melting, we’re calling on drivers to, please, drive to road conditions. It’s still icy on the highway in the mornings and at night,” Peppler said.
Peppler had been called to the last collision at around 7:30 a.m. Thursday, finding a badly damaged truck two kilometres east of McRae Road. The driver, a 34-year-old woman from the Rossland area, was heading eastbound when her blue 2006 Toyota Tacoma crossed the centre line, striking a concrete barrier hard enough to send the truck back into the eastbound lane.
Peppler said the driver was taken to Grand Forks’ Boundary Hospital for observation.
Another officer had been at the second collision roughly two hours earlier, he said. On-scene photos show that a semi truck and its empty trailer rolled into a ditch along the westbound lane, some distance west of Wilgress Lake.
Two other Mounties attended the first incident Wednesday evening near the intersection of Thompson Road and Highway 395. It was there that police and Christina Lake Fire and Rescue volunteers found a Subaru Outback passenger-side-down in the ditch along the westbound lane of Highway 3.
The lone occupant, a man in his 30s, was initially trapped in the wrecked hatchback but later managed to climb out of the vehicle, according to Peppler and Fire Chief Joe Geary.
The man was taken to Boundary Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, Peppler said.
Midway RCMP’s Cpl. Phil Peters said there hadn’t been any recent collisions in the West Boundary (GF RCMP has jurisdiction of Wilgress Lake), but noted that wintry road conditions are still potentially dangerous in late March.
“We’re still getting overnight frosts and it’s unfortunately the case that we see these kinds of accidents when drivers don’t adjust their speed accordingly,” he said.
Grand Forks Mounties didn’t fine the Christina Lake drivers under the Motor Vehicle Act, Peppler said.
Highway 3 motorists must have legally designated winter tires on their vehicles between Oct. 1 and April 30, according to the Motor Vehicle Act. Police have the authority to enforce that requirement by turning back un-equipped drivers and handing down fines under the Act.