Sure enough, when it started to snow hard on the afternoon of Oct. 19, the roads turned slick. It was probably only a matter of when and where something would happen on a highway in the area. It turned out to be near Chisholm, on Hwy. 44.
According to RCMP Sgt. Don Racette, about five vehicles ended up in the ditch, including one large transport truck. What exactly happened he wasn’t sure, but he suspects it started when the southbound truck met a northbound smaller vehicle. Perhaps the car clipped the truck and then the other vehicles lost control trying to avoid the other two.
“No life-threatening injuries,” says Racette. “One person was taken to the U of A hospital.”
Traffic was held up for quite some time.
That was the only report of traffic mishaps as a result of the snowfall. Racette says there was one other one, but it turned out to be false. Somebody thought they saw a big truck dragging a smaller vehicle, but it was towing it. It turned out to be a “wild goose chase,” says fire chief Alex Pavcek, that had to be investigated at the same time as the big incident by Chisholm was unfolding.
Another thing that happened during the response to the Chisholm incident was a truck lost its tire when crossing the railway tracks on Hwy. 88, says Pavcek.
Things could have been worse. Pavcek says (contrary to what some other people were saying) sand and plow trucks were out on the highway and road conditions were improving. Besides the incident at Chisholm there hadn’t been another significant call for service to the department as of 11 the next morning.
“The first snowfall catches a few people off guard,” Pavcek says.