Busy long weekend for emergency responders

Collisions, spills and a water rescue

Leader staff

People have been remarking lately about how often one hears sirens in and around Slave Lake. Are there really that many emergencies?
Apparently there are. Here’s a list from fire chief Jamie Coutts, on the Labour Day weekend.
“Nine calls,” he said in an email to The Leader. “Water rescue at Fawcett Lake, dangerous goods call at Home Hardware, MVA (motor vehicle accident) and Stars landing 90 km north on Hwy. 88, MVA in mall parking lot, MVA at Kal Tire parking lot I’ll send pic. MVA at Birch Road and Hwy. 2 turnoff. (A) few minor calls also. 276 total calls for the year so far. Busy year.”
The collision by Widewater resulted in the highway being closed for a while. In the case of the water rescue, a boat took on water in windy conditions, putting a couple of fishermen in distress.
The crash at Kal Tire, according to RCMP Sgt. Marlene Brown, shouldn’t be called an ‘accident.’ It’s still under investigation, but what appears to have happened is the vehicle was traveling north on Main St. and carried on through the intersection with Caribou Trail and into the Kal Tire yard as if it was a continuation of Main St., encountering the first immovable object in its path. This happened to be a metal shipping container.
“Speed and alcohol are not being ruled out,” says Brown.
Nor are charges being ruled out against the 39-year-old male driver.
The crash near Widewater on Sept. 4 took place at 10:30 in the morning, when one vehicle rear-ended another. The driver of the rear-ending vehicle – a 38-year-old woman – received minor injuries, Brown says. The 82-year-old driver of the other vehicle was unhurt.
On a more positive note, Brown says traffic in front of Slave Lake’s schools on the first two days of school last week “went very well.”
If there’s one bit of advice to offer to parents dropping off their kids, it’s to accompany them to the crosswalk, she says.
In other police news, Brown says impaired drivers are being found and are being charged (a couple of them during August).
RCMP also provided a statistical comparison of the 2017 Labour Day weekend with the one in 2016 for the province.
2017: Eight died and 18 were injured in motor vehicle collisions. One motorcyclist died and four were injured in collisions. Forty-six people were charged with impaired driving, while 27 investigations remain open. Four injured in off-road collisions.
2016: Two people died in motor vehicle collisions; 49 injured. Six motorcyclists injured. Ninety impaired charges. Four people were injured in off-road collisions while, one person died.

Something quite unusual happened in Slave Lake on the Labour Day weekend, involving an automobile and a shipping container.

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