Video showing semi passing in construction zone on Alberta’s Highway 9 sparks concern

WATCH: Viewer video shows a semi-truck passing in a construction zone on an Alberta highway, narrowly missing a head-on collision with an oncoming vehicle.

A close call was caught on camera on a southern Alberta highway on Tuesday.

Morgan Cartwright, who lives in Oyen, said she was riding shotgun with her boyfriend, travelling through a construction zone along Highway 9 just east of Cereal when a semi-truck tried to pass them but encountered oncoming traffic and pulled back in behind them.

When she saw the truck making another attempt to pass, still in the construction zone, Cartwright said she reached for her phone and started to record.

Cartwright’s video shows the semi passing their vehicle, only narrowly missing a head-on collision with an oncoming white car.

“My heart definitely stopped for a minute,” Cartwright said. “Mostly shocked that he went to pass us even though there were signs clearly stating not to pass.”

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WATCH: Alberta RCMP are stressing safety in construction zones and on secondary highways after recent crashes on Highway 9, where a new video of a semi trying to pass in a construction zone is sparking more concern. Adam MacVicar reports.

Video showing semi passing in Highway 9 construction zone sparking concerns
Video showing semi passing in Highway 9 construction zone sparking concerns

According to Cartwright, they were travelling around 80 km/h at the time, which was the speed posted in the construction zone.

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READ MORE: 3 people killed in multi-vehicle crash involving fuel-laden trucks on Hwy. 9

“We passed plenty of signs that showed what’s going on and that they weren’t able to pass,” Cartwright said. “So I don’t know if the driver wasn’t paying attention to the signs or if he didn’t care. Either way, not good.”

Global News sent the video to Bison Transport, the Manitoba-based company that owns the semi seen in the video. The truck’s number is easily identifiable in the video.

“We have reviewed the video and we at Bison Transport are equally concerned and disappointed in the individual actions of this driver,” Bison Transport director of safety and driver development, Garth Pitzel, said in a statement.

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“In this case, the operator of the unit in question is an independent contractor who was with us for a very short time. Bison takes matters of safety very seriously and our reputation and safety record supports that we are heavily invested in tools and training to support our professional drivers.”

Tuesday’s close call happened on the same highway that saw two deadly crashes within the last few weeks — one east and one west of Cereal.

Three people died in a crash involving 10 vehicles near the community on Aug. 20, which prompted the evacuation of a nearby hamlet.

WATCH: Witness video shows smoke coming from Cereal, Alta. crash site

Witness video shows smoke coming from Cereal, Alta. crash site
Witness video shows smoke coming from Cereal, Alta. crash site

Earlier this month, a child was killed and four others were injured after a multiple-vehicle crash near Oyen, which involved two tractor-trailers and another vehicle.

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The crashes have prompted Alberta RCMP to remind drivers to be safe in construction zones and secondary highways.

“We’re seeing that a lot of people are still speeding through the construction zones and that’s causing concern for us because we have people, like flag people, that are actually standing on the highway and we have people working in those areas,” Const. Michael Hibbs said.

“So we want everybody to go home safely at the end of the day.

“Excessive speeds and other traffic issues are a growing concern on secondary highways, so we’re sending out a public advisory that we’re going to be doing full patrols and hopefully get the speeds down and make highways safer.”

READ MORE: Child dead, 4 injured after multiple-vehicle crash near Oyen, Alta.

Highway 9 is one of many secondary highways that will see ramped up enforcement by RCMP and Alberta Sheriffs through October, RCMP said. Highways 41, 570 and 895 will also see increased patrols and check stops.

RCMP said they are aware of the video, but would not say whether or not they plan to investigate.

As for Cartwright, this latest incident, in addition to the prior crashes, has her driving more cautiously along Highway 9.

“[I’m] definitely looking in my mirrors more often than what I normally do because that should never happen,” she said. “For people to still be driving and passing in the construction zones as they are, it just doesn’t make sense to me.”
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