Concerns grow about safety of Highway 16 after 3 killed in collision
SASKATOON – Residents of Langham, Sask. are continuing to try to come to terms with a fatal collision that claimed three lives. On Monday, there would be only four survivors from a truck carrying seven people after it collided with a northbound semi on Highway 16 just outside of the small town.
A four-year-old boy and nine-year-old boy from Langham along with a 26-year-old woman from Corman Park were all declared deceased on scene.
“It’s traumatic, it’s sad,” said Agnes Gilchrist, who has lived in the town for 26 years.
“I can’t imagine what the families are going through. It’s really, really sad.”
Other townspeople say they’re praying for the family, even ones who didn’t know them.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by a family friend to help with funeral arrangements and to help care for the surviving two boys, aged five and 11.
Among the deceased are two brothers and their father’s girlfriend. Their dad, 32, believed to be behind the wheel was taken to Royal University Hospital (RUH) in serious condition following the crash along with another son and his nephew.
The seventh person in the vehicle was a co-worker, aged 46, from Moose Jaw who was also transported to RUH in critical condition. On Monday, RCMP spokesperson Mandy Maier said the only detail she could confirm was that there were seven people in the truck but wouldn’t speculate on where the individuals were positioned.
In the wake of the fatal collision, officials with the Prairie Spirit School Division said they extend their sincerest sympathies to those involved in the tragic accident. The principal and a team of counsellors were also working together to support the students and staff at the Langham Elementary School during this difficult time.
Saskatchewan RCMP also released a statement on Tuesday, saying their investigators continue to work hard to determine what exactly happened.
They also outlined the work done by their collision reconstruction program every time something serious or fatal occurs:
“Collision Reconstructionists assist with investigations by looking into the technical aspects of a collision, attempting to determine what occurred and the causal factors behind it. Each collision is unique and the approach that the Collision Reconstructionist takes for each investigation must be developed based on the circumstances that are presented to the investigator.
A technical collision investigation can take a considerable amount of time to complete (sometimes several months) because a large amount of evidence can be gathered and a thorough analysis of the evidence must be conducted.
The analysis is then provided to the lead investigator and the Crown Prosecutor to make a decision on charges, if any.”
READ MORE: The role of a collision reconstructionist
Seltbeat use, weather conditions and road conditions will all come out as a part of this.
“There are not enough lights and all these big intersections when people are pulling out,” said Jon Carr, an area resident who mentioned it was not uncommon for the highway to be cloaked in fog coming off the riverbed.
“They should probably have something there, they did it in the city now that a few people have died.”
Rafal Kosciusczkawicz, who said he was already at work when the collision occurred, has only lived in the area a year but has had concerns regarding roadways especially in inclement weather.
“Too much ice no matter what and it’s not so safe.”
Cam Brewer, a volunteer with the Langham Fire Department for the last three years, says he wasn’t called out to the crash since he was at work at the time. He’s also a professional truck driver and said the number one mistake motorists make is misreading the speed of approaching vehicles, at least from his experience.
“I wouldn’t say the highway’s unsafe, there’s a lot worse in the province.”
Collision rates show this stretch of Highway 16 is one of the safest which is no consolation for locals who say there are close calls all the time.
© 2016 Shaw Media