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Weather makes for slippery driving

Wet snow falling throughout Central Alberta made driving conditions treacherous for motorists on Monday, especially along Hwy 2.

RCMP freeway patrol had their hands full, dealing with dozens of vehicles careening into the ditch as well as into each other.

Collisions were reported throughout the region, including a crash at Gasoline Alley and another on Antler Hill just north of Innisfail.

Cpl. Jerry Court of Ponoka RCMP Traffic Services said that drivers were dealing with blowing snow and slushy conditions.

Ponoka RCMP patrol from Hwy 11A near Red Deer all the way up to the Millet overpass, 40 km south of Edmonton.

“We had up to 20 vehicles in the ditch, but no one had any serious injuries,” said Court mid-Monday afternoon.

“The vehicles were going off the road, usually an indication of not adhering to the road conditions.”

Drivers were simply going too fast, he said.

RCMP Innisfail Integrated Traffic Unit were dealing with a three-vehicle collision in the northbound lanes of Hwy 2 just south of Red Deer when a transport truck lost control, sliding to the right, striking a police cruiser at about 9:40 a.m.

An RCMP officer inside the car wasn’t hurt. At the time, the far right lane was closed and conditions were icy.

Police are now looking for the driver of this truck, described as a white Kenworth hauling a white tri-axle van body trailer with silver vertical ribbing on the side. The trailer also has a small logo on the side near the upper rear corner.

Anyone with information is asked to call RCMP at 403-343-4135.

Alberta Transportation had sanders and plows out trying to handle the worsening conditions on Hwy 2.

Cpl. Leanne Molzahn, spokeswoman for Red Deer city RCMP, said that police were handling numerous calls of collisions, including one along Kennedy Drive where a vehicle struck a light standard.

From 7 a.m. to close to 4 p.m., police received 15 calls of collisions in the city.

It sounds like Hwy 2 was seeing most of the brunt of road problems, though, she added.

Portions of the highway were closed off.

City of Red Deer Public Works Department manager Greg Sikora said that sanding crews were out in full force starting early Monday morning.

Crews were expected to plow Priority 1 areas overnight.

That involves hills, bridges, overpasses, high-hazard locations and hospital accesses.

City crews would then concentrate on Priority 2 areas (arterials with focus on high-collision intersections) over the next 72 hours.



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