Policeman points out effectiveness of restraint devices in recent crash

Pointing at the badly mangled vehicle resting on its roof in a ditch on Hwy 2 on Wednesday afternoon, an RCMP officer wanted to emphasize that seatbelts do save lives and prevent serious injury.

City of Red Deer Emergency Services personnel and RCMP work at the scene of a rollover collision just south of the 32nd Street overpass on Hwy 2 on Wednesday afternoon. Two people from the van were transported to hospital.

City of Red Deer Emergency Services personnel and RCMP work at the scene of a rollover collision just south of the 32nd Street overpass on Hwy 2 on Wednesday afternoon. Two people from the van were transported to hospital.

Pointing at the badly mangled vehicle resting on its roof in a ditch on Hwy 2 on Wednesday afternoon, an RCMP officer wanted to emphasize that seatbelts do save lives and prevent serious injury.

Cpl. Al Nicklson of Red Deer city traffic section said the two occupants of the small, champagne-coloured sedan were fortunate because they were wearing seatbelts when their vehicle flipped over and ended up in the northbound ditch about 150 metres south of the 32nd Street overpass.

A man and a woman, both between 60 to 65 years old, suffered injuries and were taken to Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre shortly after the 12:52 p.m. crash.

One person was more seriously injured than the other but their injuries weren’t considered life-threatening, said Const. Marc Alain of city traffic section.

Both had to be extracted from the smashed vehicle by Red Deer Emergency Services fire-medics using cutting tools.

Nicklson said buckling up in this case prevented serious injuries or even death.

“Wearing a seatbelt keeps you in the vehicle where you have a much better chance of survival in this type of collision,” Nicklson said.

He said being ejected from a rolling vehicle often proves fatal or results in serious injury.

Wreckage, including a fender, was scattered about the ditch.

Alain said the crash apparently started when a tractor-trailer unit attempted to make a lane change and noticed the small vehicle right beside it. Both were northbound.

He said the tractor-trailer driver moved the rig back into its own lane and it’s not known if the two vehicles collided or even touched.

The male driver of the smaller vehicle apparently lost control and went into the ditch.

Northbound traffic was reduced to a crawl as motorists were forced to bypass the scene on the shoulder. Traffic was backed up for more than two km.

There was no word about possible charges.

jwilson@bprda.wpengine.com