Residents mull changes to rural Alberta intersection after fatal crash

Rural Alberta residents express concern over deadly intersection east of Calgary
WATCH ABOVE: There have been two fatal collisions at a highway intersection near the village of Standard in the past six months. Joel Senick reports on what area residents believe could stop future crashes from happening.

When Traci Rasmussen hears fire trucks pass her farm in Standard, Alta., she often wonders if someone has suffered a similar fate as her.

Last June, Rasmussen was in a car crash at the intersection of Highway 840 and Highway 564, which is about 100 kilometres east of Calgary. She said another vehicle ran the stop sign and struck her.

“He hit me just right at the back end of my Ford Escape and spun me around a few times,” Rasmussen said.

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“Then I went down into the ditch over and over and there I was.”

Rasmussen said she escaped the incident with some bruises and a minor injury, however, not everyone involved in crashes at the intersection has been as lucky. On Tuesday, RCMP said a man died after he failed to stop at the sign and hit a semi truck.

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Back in July, two other people were killed at the same intersection, after a minivan went through the stop sign and hit an SUV, according to RCMP.

READ MORE: Charges pending in deadly crash on southern Alberta highway

Rasmussen said her message to drivers is to “stop at the stop signs [and] signal,” in the area.

“If you just pay attention to the rules of that road, things would go a lot better,” she added.

Barry Van Laar farms next to the intersection and said he believes a traffic circle in the area would improve safety. He often tracks how many people stop, yield, or go right through the intersection while he is seeding.

In a random four-hour sampling he said “about 69 people stop, and then another 65 yield to the sign, but then there’s 13 people who blow it.”

There are a number of safety measures in place at the intersection, including rumble strips and flashing lights on top of oversized stop signs. A provincial spokesperson said there have been a total of four crashes at the intersection since 2007 and officials decided to take another look at the area after July’s fatal crash.

“There’s some thought that we might put in even larger stop signs in the area,” Wayne Wood, an Alberta Transportation spokesperson, said Wednesday.

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“We might consider the possibility of converting that intersection into a four-way stop.”