The Trans-Canada highway was a dangerous place to be on Thursday and the Tache Fire Chief says his crews spent much of the day at crash sites.
Allan Rau says the calls began rolling in at 7:30 Thursday morning and never really stopped.
He indicates that the largest incident his crews responded to was along Highway 1 two miles from Provincial road 207. At 10:30 AM firefighters were called to attend to a semi leaking fluids, but when they arrived on scene they realized that things were much much worse.
“As we proceeded down there, we saw RCMP trying to slow traffic,” Rau explains. “When we got to the scene there was a large backlog of vehicles. We saw a few overturned semis, there were some semis in the ditch, there were cars and pickup trucks and some had collided with each other...”
According to Rau, this mayhem was all collateral damage of vehicles trying to slow down for another accident that had happened further ahead.
Reflecting on this specific scene, Rau says he saw three semis that had lost control and around ten other vehicles. However, he stresses, that was not the extent of what he witnessed.
“As we were departing, we took an intersection to head back on the west side of the Trans-Canada when we noticed two more semis in the ditch and a few more vehicles that were damaged.”
As firefighters continued towards their respective stations, Rau tells of still more vehicles that had lost control and hit on another, or, were merely stuck in deep snow.
“We covered a pretty good stretch of the Trans-Canada,” Rau states.
Meanwhile, Southern Health indicates that several ambulances were sent out to attend to the various scenes along Highway 1. Ste. Anne Hospital, being the nearest to the pile-up, declared a Code Orange emergency after the staff received a sudden influx of patients. Southern Health informs us that four ambulances dropped off injured patients at the hospital.
The Trans-Canada Highway between Ste. Anne and Deacon's Corner remains closed, but RCMP indicate that it will likely re-open late Thursday evening.