A 16-year-old girl was killed and several people were injured in a six-vehicle collision near Camrose, Alta. on Wednesday night.
Camrose RCMP said their investigation shows that three northbound vehicles had slowed down on Highway 21 at Township Road 474 because vehicles in front of them had slowed down to make a left turn.
Police said a box truck collided with the vehicles from behind, forcing two vehicles into the southbound lane. The vehicles were then struck by two vehicles travelling south.
The 16-year-old girl was a passenger in one of the vehicles that had initially slowed down for traffic, RCMP said. She was pronounced dead on scene.
Global News has learned the teen was a student at Camrose Composite High School; a crisis support team was called in to offer support to students at the school.
The three other people in that vehicle were taken to hospital in serious condition. STARS Air Ambulance met paramedics at the Camrose hospital and flew a man in his 50s and another woman to the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton for further treatment.
Four other people who were in other vehicles suffered non-life threatening injuries.
The collision happened at around 6 p.m. Wednesday. The area reopened to traffic early Thursday morning.
RCMP said no charges have been laid at this time but their investigation continues.
“When a collision of this magnitude happens and results in a fatality, the public trusts us to do a thorough investigation,” Cpl. Laurel Scott said. “We want to put the right information out when we have it.”
There are no turning lanes along this particular stretch of the highway, which is single lanes of traffic in both directions. When asked if twinning the highway was a possibility, Infrastructure Minister Brian Mason said further analysis would be needed.
“I think at this stage that is an extremely expensive proposition, so we need to conduct the analysis,” Mason said Thursday.
“I would say off the top of my head the addition of more passing lanes at least is something we need to take a serious look at.”
Camrose Mayor Norman Mayer said upgrades to the highway would be welcomed.
“Highway 21 does have an awful lot of traffic on it and a lot of big traffic on it. It would certainly be advantageous. Certainly passing lanes would help too, like they did on Highway 14.”
Anyone who witnessed the crash and has yet to speak to police is asked to contact Camrose RCMP at 78-672-3341.
With files from Caley Ramsay and Sarah Kraus, Global News.
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