Local briefs – October 13

A 34-year-old man was transported by STARS air ambulance to Edmonton after a collision along Hwy 2, near Ponoka, late Saturday morning.

Hwy 2 collision injures man

A 34-year-old man was transported by STARS air ambulance to Edmonton after a collision along Hwy 2, near Ponoka, late Saturday morning.

Ponoka RCMP Freeway officers responded to a two-vehicle collision on Hwy 2, near the Hwy 597 overpass, at 11:44 a.m. on Saturday.

Police said a southbound car lost control and crossed through the median striking a northbound SUV. The male driver of the southbound car was taken by STARS air ambulance to the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton with critical injuries. A STARS representative said the man was suffering serious, potentially life threatening injuries when he was transported to hospital. The man’s current condition was not known at press time.

The people in the northbound SUV were taken on Saturday to Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre and the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre with undetermined injuries. Ponoka RCMP have not released the name of the driver who was critically injured, nor where he is from.

Fire bans lifted

Fire bans have been lifted for most counties in Central Alberta.

The counties of Red Deer, Mountain View, Lacombe, Stettler have cancelled fire bans after recent precipitation. Clearwater County has not had any fire bans in place this year.

Fire permits are still required according to the regulations in each county. Ponoka County will consider whether to cancel its fire ban at Tuesday’s council meeting.

“We have wind blowing here so we’ll leave it on during the weekend,” chief administrative officer Charlie Cutforth said Friday.

Power knocked out

A power outage in north Red Deer about 7:15 a.m. on Friday snarled traffic and left a large area without power for almost 10 minutes.

Crews were working on a transformer near the Olymel plant in Riverside Industrial Park when something went wrong.

As a breaker was closed to energize a second transformer, a protection system kicked in and shut down the entire substation, said Ligong Gan, manager of the city’s Electric Light and Power Department.

The outage affected Edgar and Riverside Industrial Parks, Kentwood and Johnstone Park. Traffic lights in the north end of the city were also knocked out and went into flashing mode.

Power was back on in eight minutes and crews were dispatched to reset traffic lights, which were all restored after about 30 minutes, said Gan.

The problem has been isolated and engineers have been dispatched to the substation to investigate.

Gan said there is enough capacity in the system to keep the lights on without the second transformer and he is not anticipating any further problems.

Red Deer Emergency Services had no reports of accidents during the brief blackout.

Escapee suffers from stress: lawyer

The defence lawyer for a man charged with briefly escaping from Bowden Institution urged a provincial court judge to force the prison to turn over crucial medical records needed for a psychological exam.

Lawyer Norman Clare said for months he has been trying to arrange a psychiatric assessment of his client’s fitness to stand trial with a specific focus on post traumatic stress disorder. An assessment was completed in July that determined he was fit to stand trial, but it did not consider the stress disorder and Clare wanted a second assessment done.

Michael Horyn, 42, faces charges of escaping lawful custody and being unlawfully at large. It is alleged the prisoner had just been transferred to the minimum security annex when he walked away that night.

RCMP and Corrections Canada officers tracked Horyn to Bowden by following a trail of footprints left in the snow. He was arrested about midnight, about 45 minutes after he was reported missing. Clare said he has gone as far as retaining a private psychiatrist familiar with the disorder to undertake the assessment of his client.

However, the psychiatrist has complained he has been denied access to personal and medical records held by the prison that he needs to do the examination. Despite pursuing the additional psychiatric testing since July, prison official say they just got word of the request on Oct. 1, said Clare.

He asked provincial court Judge John Holmes to issue another order that the psychiatric assessment be done and that necessary records be turned over.

The case was adjourned to Nov. 13. Horyn remains in custody.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

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