Seven dead after crash on Hwy 63
Published Friday, April 27, 2012 7:11PM MDT
CTV News has learned seven people are dead, and three people were airlifted to hospital in Edmonton after a crash on the highway between Edmonton and Fort McMurray.
RCMP said the survivors, a 34-year-old man, a teenage girl and a young boy suffered serious injuries – Alberta Health Services confirmed all three were in serious condition upon arrival. The teenaged girl succumbed to her injuries Friday evening.
Police are warning drivers on Highway 63 to steer clear of a section of highway closed after a crash between two pick-up trucks just before 1 Friday afternoon.
Early reports suggest a northbound truck, carrying three people pulled into the opposite lane to pass another vehicle, when it collided head-on with another pickup truck heading south, which was carrying six people.
Investigators said there was a significant fire as a result of the crash, and three of the deceased, including the teenaged girl were in the northbound truck.
Wood Buffalo RCMP said the highway has been closed between kilometre markers 90 and 95, and both north and southbound traffic has been affected.
Drivers are being diverted to Secondary Highway 881.
RCMP Constable Christina Wilkins spoke to CTV News Friday afternoon, and said it's believed road conditions contributed to the crash, but that has not been confirmed by investigators.
"The road conditions and weather conditions were likely a factor, but none of that has been confirmed," Const. Wilkins said in a phone interview on Friday. "It's just from what I can see in my own eyes.
"In terms of what caused the collision – if speed was a factor, those have not been determined yet."
RCMP in the area said travel on highways south of Fort McMurray is not recommended, due to both the closure, and reduced visibility on the road because of the weather.
It's not clear when the highway will be re-opened, as RCMP investigators expected to remain on the scene for several hours.
With files from Kim Taylor