STRATHMORE — Three people are dead and four are in hospital after a minivan was broad-sided by a semi east of Calgary on Wednesday afternoon.
The semi was southbound on Hwy. 24 when it hit the westbound minivan crossing the highway on Glenmore Tr., said RCMP Sgt. Patrick Webb.
“It was a T-bone collision,” he said. “It was lucky that anybody lived.”
Roger Hiller, the owner of the truck, said the vehicle was loaded with peas being taken from a farm near Hussar to a plant in Carseland.
“As far as I know (the minivan) did stop at the stop sign but then he proceeded onto the highway,” he said.
“When he saw the truck coming he must have froze and stopped in the middle of the highway. ”
“Then my driver was going to go around them and just as he got there, he pinned the van and they met.”
EMS spokesman Adam Loria said two female teenagers were taken to Alberta Children’s Hospital and one adult male was rushed to Foothills hospital by ambulance, all of them in critical, life-threatening condition.
STARS Air Ambulance was used to transport one of the survivors, a 20-year-old woman, to Foothills hospital, also in critical, life-threatening condition, said spokesman Cameron Heke.
Police did not release ages or genders for the victims who died, but Webb said some of the people in the van were related.
The force of the crash saw the semi push the minivan roughly 100 metres down the highway and into a ditch.
The driver of the semi wasn’t hurt, said Hiller, but was emotionally quite shaken up.
“He’s going to have issues, I think, in a couple days,” he said. “We feel quite bad about (the deaths). It’s really tragic.”