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White-out conditions cause multi-vehicle collision on Trans-Canada west of Calgary

Click to play video: 'RCMP respond to multi-car pileup west of Calgary'
RCMP respond to multi-car pileup west of Calgary
WATCH: RCMP said at least 20 vehicles were involved in a crash west of Calgary amid a blast of winter weather. – Feb 29, 2024

RCMP were not recommending travel between Cochrane and Canmore Thursday evening because of “white-out” conditions.

Police said the westbound lanes of the Trans-Canada Highway near Highway 40 on the Stoney Nakoda First Nation were at a standstill due to a multi-vehicle collision Thursday afternoon.

On Friday, RCMP told Global News that three people were transported to hospital with minor injuries.

Fifteen vehicles and two semi-trucks had to be towed from the area.

“It was a complete white-out, pretty much from Calgary, slow-going and icy conditions,” said Franky Huerlimann, who was on his way home to Banff after a trip to Hawaii with his family.

“We couldn’t even see the car in front of us. We had our four-ways on the whole time and were going 60 kilometres an hour.”

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Huerlimann said traffic came to a stop near the Stoney Nakoda Casino on the Trans-Canada near Highway 40.

The family said they could not see the collision but witnessed several emergency vehicles pass them.

“We were stuck at a standstill on the highway,” Huerlimann said.

Snow conditions brought traffic to a half along a portion of the Trans-Canada Highway west of Calgary on Thursday, February 29, 2024. Global News

“There’s been a few fire trucks go by, every kind of police officers, there’s wardens, there’s peace officers, sheriffs, all just trying to get by.

“It’s been pretty scary just trying to figure out which way to go for them to get by. Everyone is glued to the right side of the highway.”

The highway reopened just after 1:30 a.m. Friday, according to 511 Alberta. There was still heavy snowfall and poor visibility in the area.

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Click to play video: 'March roars into Calgary like a winter lion'
March roars into Calgary like a winter lion

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) issued a snowfall warning for the city of Calgary and Rocky View County near Cochrane.

The alert was issued around 4:30 p.m. Thursday and called for about 10 centimetres of snow and “near-zero visibility.”

The weather agency said a “narrow band of heavy snow will move through the area this evening.” The snowfall warning had ended by Friday morning.

Environment Canada said the snowfall may have a “significant impact on rush hour traffic in urban areas” and asked drivers to use caution on the roads.

Whiteout conditions pictured on Alberta 511 traffic cameras near Hwy 22 at Hwy 1, west of Calgary.
Whiteout conditions pictured on Alberta 511 traffic cameras near Hwy 22 at Hwy 1, west of Calgary. Alberta 511
Earlier in the day, ECCC issued a weather advisory for the city of Calgary, with a sudden drop in temperatures — as much as 20 degrees in less than an hour — expected.

The agency warned that a cold front approaching from the north “will bring a sudden drop in temperatures” by Thursday afternoon.

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Click to play video: '‘Weather swings’: How to prepare your home'
‘Weather swings’: How to prepare your home

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