QE2 reopened after overnight shutdown because of deadly multi-vehicle crash

The busy highway connecting Edmonton to Calgary was closed in both directions Tuesday night following a multi-vehicle crash near Carstairs, Alta. CREDIT: 511 Alberta

The busy highway connecting Edmonton to Calgary was reopened Wednesday morning, after being closed in both directions overnight following a deadly, multi-vehicle crash near Carstairs on Tuesday night.

“[The] Didsbury detachment is on scene at Highway 2 between Township Road 292 and Highway 581 for a fatal collision,” the RCMP said in a news release issued just after 11:30 p.m.

RCMP said Wednesday the Highway 2 crash happened at around 7 p.m. and involved between 25 and 30 vehicles. One person died.

EMS confirmed its members responded to a crash at around 7:30 p.m. The passenger in a vehicle that appeared to have hit a semi from behind was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver had to be pulled from the vehicle.

EMS said there were two more patients: a man who was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and another man whose injuries were more serious but not life-threatening.

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EMS initially sent six ambulances to the scene, which was spread out over about one kilometre.

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An update from the government-run Alberta 511 Twitter account at 1:40 a.m. said the QEII southbound lanes were re-opened between Bowden and Crossfield. Carstairs is between the two communities. By 5:25 a.m., the northbound lanes were also re-opened, so traffic was flowing in all directions.

“Travel is not recommended in this area with delays due to investigation and weather conditions,” the RCMP said. “Traffic is being diverted to Highway 2A.”

Carstairs is located about 65 kilometres north of Calgary.

“Our recommendation is that people avoid the QE2 in both directions between Red Deer and Calgary tonight,” John Archer, a spokesperson for Alberta Transportation, told Global News Tuesday night.

Archer said he couldn’t confirm ​how many vehicles were involved in the crash near Carstairs but said it was fair to call what happened a “major incident.”

EMS said initial reports were that between 20 and 50 vehicles were involved.

READ MORE: Drivers stranded for up to 10 hours on Highway 1 near Canmore after massive snowfall

Watch below: Parts of southern Alberta were slammed with snow on Tuesday, resulting in dangerous driving conditions. West of Calgary, Highway 1 was shut down, leaving hundreds of drivers stranded. Jayme Doll reports.

Click to play video: 'Hundreds of drivers stranded on Highway 1 west of Calgary'
Hundreds of drivers stranded on Highway 1 west of Calgary

Calgary and other parts of southern Alberta were battered by a major snowstorm on Tuesday, resulting in a chaotic day on the roads in and around the city.

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RCMP responded to about 83 collisions in southern Alberta between 10:30 a.m. Tuesday and 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

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