Driver in hospital, Red Deer road closed as RCMP investigate ‘unknown substance’ possibly found in pickup truck

An RCMP badge is pictured. File / RCMP

A spokesperson for the City of Red Deer Emergency Services says at least two buildings have been evacuated and part of a road in north Red Deer remains closed as police and emergency crews investigate the possibility of an “unknown substance” being found in a pickup truck after its driver was taken to hospital.

Early Wednesday afternoon, police said first responders were called to a pickup truck on 49 Avenue between 78 Street and 78A Street after a man in a pickup truck “began to feel ill after being in the truck.”

A map showing part of Red Deer, Alta. The red marker indicates the area near where police have shut down part of a road to investigate an “unknown substance” that may have been found in a pickup truck. CREDIT: Google Maps

The RCMP told Global News the work truck had been reported stolen in Bowden, Alta. on Sept. 16 and was later found abandoned by a passerby who called police. The man driving the truck on Wednesday had just picked it up after the RCMP had recovered it and towed it to another location.

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“It is unknown at this time what, if any, substance might be in the truck,” the RCMP said in a news release. “The response by RCMP, EMS and the Hazardous Materials team is intended to ensure public safety and investigate the situation further.”

The spokesperson for Red Deer Emergency Services said the two buildings that were evacuated are located in an industrial area and that they were evacuated as a precaution.

Police said the road is expected to be closed “for some time” and called on the public to avoid the area.

More to come…