A two-vehicle collision near Donalda on Thursday, Aug. 4 required ambulances be sent from several neighbouring communities to bring the injured to hospital.
Around 5 p.m., RCMP from Bashaw and Stettler responded to the collision at the intersection of highways 56 and 53.
According to Bashaw RCMP Const. Bethany Simpson, “a Chevrolet Silverado truck and trailer with two passengers travelling east-bound and a Toyota Highlander travelling north-bound carrying five passengers, collided at the intersection.”
Stettler Regional Fire and Rescue’s Donalda and Stettler stations, as well as EMS crews from Bashaw, Camrose, Forestburg, Ponoka and Stettler also converged on the scene to assist, due to the number of people injured.
Five people were transported to surrounding area hospitals, all with non-life threatening injuries, Simpson noted.
The collision is still under investigation.
Drugged driving a serious provincial concernAccording to Alberta RCMP, almost half of all 24-hour licence suspensions in 2015 were due to drug impairment.
And while most drivers are aware of the penalties for drinking while under the influence of alcohol, most aren’t aware those same penalties apply to drivers who get behind the wheel while impaired by drugs.
“It comes as a surprise to many people that drunk driving and drugged driving carry the same criminal charges,” Brian Mason, Alberta’s Minister of Transportation, said in a press release. “This is because both substances impair a driver’s ability and increase the likelihood of being involved in a collision.”
Forty per cent of Canada’s 2012’s fatally injured drivers had drugs in their system, according to the Traffic Research Foundation. It found that Alberta’s numbers were slightly above the national average at 41 per cent, which means 82 drivers who died in 2012 had drugs in their system.
To put those numbers in perspective, 71 fatally injured drivers in the same period tested positive for alcohol. Thirty-four per cent had both drugs and alcohol in their systems.
“Impaired driving is Canada’s leading cause of criminal death in Canada,” Andrew Murie, CEO of MADD Canada, said in the media release. “The number of drugs present in motor vehicle fatalities in Canada continues to grow. It is absolutely essential that when you are using drugs that you not drive and create that risk of death or injury to yourself or others.”