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Deadly highways: Manitoba records 5 fatalities in one week

Speed, alcohol and driving without a seat belt are the three most common factors in driving deaths, according to Manitoba RCMP.
Speed, alcohol and driving without a seat belt are the three most common factors in driving deaths, according to Manitoba RCMP. Getty Images

This week the province recorded five fatalities, bumping up the number of deaths on Manitoba roads this year to 48.

Speed, alcohol and driving without a seat belt are the three most common factors in driving deaths, according to police.

RCMP Sgt. Paul Manaigre says while the numbers are on par with the five-year average of 46, the statistic is nothing to be complacent about.

“We’ve got to keep getting that message out that this number is just not a good one,” says Manaigre.

While most fatalities do have contributing factors like alcohol or excessive speeds, Manaigre says that wasn’t the case for all of this week’s deaths.

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A tornado that ripped through the area of Scarth, Man., roughly 13 kilometres south of Virden, killed two teens when the truck they were in was scooped up and thrown by the twister.

“It’s included in that number even though mother nature played the big role in it,” says Manaigre.

Click to play video 'Tornado touches down in western Manitoba' Tornado touches down in western Manitoba
Tornado touches down in western Manitoba – Aug 14, 2020

In 2019 Manitoba roadways saw 41 deaths at this time, but no matter the number Manaigre says they want the total to come down.

According to Manitoba Public Insurance, the first four months of 2020 saw the province on a downward trend with 16 fatal crashes on Manitoba roadways that claimed the lives of 17 people.

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The first quarter of the year also saw an increase in off-road vehicle fatalities, of which Manitoba has recorded two this month.

Of the 17 deaths early this year, MPI notes at least five were alcohol-related and at least two people two were not wearing their seat belt.