Westerner entrance accident - A collision between a motorcycle and a passenger car occured at the southern entrance along 49th Ave. to the Westerner Park

RCMP kept busy with accidents, drunk driving

The Canada Day long weekend has proven hazardous in Central Alberta as a series of accidents have injured several people.

The Canada Day long weekend has proven hazardous in Central Alberta as a series of accidents have injured several people.

At least three people are injured after the vehicle they were in went off a logging road near Sundre on Monday morning.

Cpl. Ryan Hodge of the Sundre RCMP detachment said police were called shortly after 5 a.m. to a logging road near the Bearberry area, west of Sundre.

Three out of the four occupants in the vehicle were injured, including the driver, Hodge said.

Two people were transported by ground ambulance to the Sundre Hospital and Care Centre with undetermined injuries. One person was airlifted by STARS Air Ambulance to the Foothills Hospital in Calgary with multiple broken bones and a possible broken back, Hodge said.

By the mid-afternoon on Monday collision analysts continued to investigate. Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the single-vehicle collision.

Hodge said they also dealt with two impaired driving incidents, one on Sunday night and the other on Monday.

On July 1 stricter drinking and driving penalties came into effect. The rules will immediately suspend a licence if a driver’s blood alcohol concentration is over 0.08.

“The new legislation is in effect so those suspensions would be handed out,” Hodge said on Monday.

In addition to impaired driving, Hodge says Sundre RCMP received numerous firearms complaints.

“People are shooting their guns on Crown land, which isn’t illegal but it is a concern for the number of people out west,” he said.

In Sylvan Lake two people were charged under the new drinking and driving penalties, said Cpl. Kevin Halwa of the Sylvan Lake RCMP detachment.

“There were big crowds, especially on Saturday and Sunday but for the most part people were fairly well behaved,” he said.

Sylvan Lake RCMP had about 30 prisoners over the weekend, mostly for causing a disturbance and being drunk in public.

Things were also a little quieter in Rocky Mountain House than usual.

Sustainable Resource Development acting lands manager Don Livingston said it was not as busy in the West Country and in Nordegg over the long weekend.

“I don’t really know what is going on. There doesn’t seem to be near as many folks out here as normal,” he said.

Closer to home, Red Deer City RCMP responded to a collision on Saturday involving a motorcycle, just after 4:30 p.m.

Cpl. Kathe DeHeer said a 49-year-old woman, driving a car, was heading southbound on 49th Avenue near Westerner Park when she turned in front of a motorcycle.

A 23-year-old man was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The woman was issued a ticket for an unsafe left turn.

“That seems to be such a problem — people turning in front of motorcycles,” DeHeer said.

Also on Saturday, Ponoka RCMP and Integrated Traffic Service responded to a two-vehicle collision, which also involved a semi rollover on Hwy 2 between Blackfalds and Lacombe just after 3:30 p.m.

Officials provided little information, just that the “northbound lane of Hwy 2 was restricted due to a two-vehicle collision and a tractor trailer unit that has rolled.” It was recommended to avoid the area.

By 6:30 p.m. RCMP Ponoka and the Integrated Traffic Services Unit advised that the northbound lane of Hwy 2 was reopened. Injuries were not reported.

jjones@bprda.wpengine.com

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