279 collisions reported to Edmonton police over slippery 24-hour period

Whitemud Drive was clogged up on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. Cliff Harris, Global News

Between 12 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 11 to 12 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 12, a total of 279 collisions were reported to Edmonton police.

Police said 23 of those crashes were hit-and-run collisions, 17 involved injuries and 239 were crashes that damaged property.

Seventy-five of the collisions happened in a four-hour period Thursday morning.

READ MORE: 75 crashes in 4 hours on slick Edmonton roads Thursday morning 

The high number prompted EPS to remind drivers Edmonton is not a level in Mario Kart.

To compare, on Nov. 1, 2017, when Edmonton experienced its first snowfall of the season, a total of 275 collisions were reported to police.

Icy cold conditions and slick roads made for a lengthy commute Thursday morning. One crash on Whitemud Drive westbound on the Rainbow Valley Bridge shut down multiple lanes during the morning commute, causing gridlock for several kilometres on the major roadway.

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Dozens of school bus routes were cancelled across the province, although most schools remained open.

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READ MORE: Driver clocked at 52 km/h over limit on icy Edmonton road 

On Friday morning, officers were concerned similar road conditions (and driving behaviour) would lead to a repeat.

A number of vehicles slid on slippery roads along Fox Drive near the Whitemud Equine Learning Centre on Friday.

Four vehicles sustained damage, but no injuries were reported.

The minivan slid off the road, knocking down a light standard and crashing through a fence.

The Edmonton region has been plunged into a deep freeze for most of the week, with temperatures feeling as cold as -40 C with the wind chill.

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READ MORE: Extreme cold warning issued for much of Alberta 

Environment Canada put most of Alberta under extreme cold warnings on Wednesday. As of noon Friday, the agency had started to drop some of the extreme cold warnings in southern Alberta.

The weather is expected to warm up in Edmonton on Saturday.

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