An RCMP officer diverting Hwy 2 traffic in Friday morning’s heavy fog had to run for his life when a large transport truck veered toward him after it crashed into two vehicles at a road block.
RCMP shut down Hwy 2 northbound from Gasoline Alley to the 67th Street overpass after several vehicles collided in the dense fog.
The 28-year-old officer was at the north end of Gasoline Alley to divert traffic off Hwy 2 and into Red Deer when the transport truck locked its brakes, struck the vehicle it was following, then smashed into the parked police cruiser.
The officer, who was not in the cruiser, had to run to avoid being directly hit by the transport truck, but he did suffer minor injuries after being hit in the leg.
The officer was taken to hospital, treated and released. The driver of the transport truck was also taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The police cruiser had its emergency lights on at the time of the collision.
No charges have been laid and the police investigation is continuing.
RCMP Const. Sabrina Grunow, who was diverting traffic onto McKenzie Road after the collision, said is was hard for drivers to see police in the fog.
“Definitely the fog was very thick in places. It would come and go, thin out and thicken up again,” Grunow said.
“People were continuing travelling normal highway speeds and then got a little bit shocked when they came upon the police.”
After policing the highway for four years, Grunow said many drivers fail to slow down when necessary.
“Unfortunately it’s all too common to see people travelling at maximum speed limits, if not more, when road and/or weather conditions should have indicated that people reduce their speed.”
In addition to the Gasoline Alley collision, police and emergency workers responded to three other multi-vehicle collisions that led to the closure of Hwy 2.
At about 8 a.m., a semi pulling an empty flat bed trailer was on fire on Hwy 2 between 32nd and 67th Street overpasses.
It restricted northbound traffic and contributed to subsequent collisions, along with the fog.
Those collisions included:
l A five-vehicle pile-up on the northbound Red Deer River bridge.
l A two-vehicle collision south of the Red Deer River bridge.
l A collision involving a transport truck and two other vehicles in the southbound highway lanes between 67th and 32nd Street.
No one was seriously injured in the crashes.
RCMP diverted traffic off Hwy 2 for about two hours for safety and cleanup.