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Red Deer motorcyclist killed in weekend crash

A 23-year-old Red Deer man is dead after a motorcycle crash on the Victoria Day weekend.

The man’s identity has not been released pending family approval.

Police say he was southbound on Range Road 270 between Hwy 11 and Hwy 595 east of Red Deer at a high rate of speed when he lost control, went off the road and was ejected from the bike on Friday at about 9:45 p.m.

He suffered major internal injuries and head trauma and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Alcohol is not considered to be a factor.

It was the only major vehicle collision the Blackfalds RCMP detachment responded to over the long weekend. The detachment covers most of the rural area around Red Deer.

The only other significant call for Blackfalds RCMP was a trespassing incident where a large group of youth was camping on private property on Blindman River near the Blindman Industrial Park on Sunday morning. More than 20 trespassing tickets were issued after complaints about driving on the property and garbage.

“Certainly the long weekend mentality was prevalent in the driving and the disrespect of the private property,” said Cpl. Barry Larocque.

He added long weekends are usually quiet for the detachment as everyone heads to the West Country to camp, though they do see an influx of traffic on Friday evening and Sunday night and Monday morning.

Everyone else was seemingly headed out to the West Country, where the RCMP had a busy weekend, but not by previous standards.

It appears many Victoria Day long weekenders are becoming less the party animals and more the mature well-behaved types.

According to Rocky Mountain House RCMP Staff Sgt. Bill Laidlaw, they issued approximately 750 tickets between Rocky Mountain House and Rimbey. Rocky RCMP made only eight arrests the entire weekend and opened 150 files.

Most importantly, there were no critical injuries, emergency calls or fatalities.

“It’s less the numbers dropping and more the attitudes of the people coming out,” said Laidlaw, who has now worked five Victoria Day long weekends. “Our May long weekend crowd is starting to become a pleasure to deal with as opposed to a huge substantive problem. We’ve got good people coming out, families coming out, well behaved, well educated.”

Perhaps the biggest issue was the theft of an assault rifle and 400 rounds of ammunition from a camper that the police are still looking for information on.

The weekend was quiet for the Innisfail Integrated Traffic Unit. Over the course of the weekend, they had 19 calls for service — none on Sunday — issuing one 24-hour suspension, approximately 140 speeding tickets, a couple of distracted driving and seatbelt tickets, and a handful of vehicle equipment sanctions. They responded to just a couple of minor collisions.

May long weekend is one of the two busiest weekends for the unit — along with Labour Day weekend in September — and Cpl. Brian Johannson says people are starting to come around on safer driving practices.

“It is kind of nice to see that people are out and they are taking their time and making plans to get to their destinations in a safe manner,” said Johannson. “It definitely points to the public that they are taking note.”

Sylvan Lake was also quiet over the weekend, helped along by the fact that the ice finally melted off the lake on Saturday. RCMP arrested fewer than a dozen people on public intoxication-related charges and only wrote 30 to 40 tickets.

Across the province, there were a total of 5,703 charges laid by Alberta Integrated Traffic Services, most of which were speeding offences. Eleven were for impaired driving and 13 were driving suspensions.

There were only two other fatalities reported by the service — one each in the Westlock and Vulcan policing areas.

Red Deer RCMP did not return messages.

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