Five people in this black Ford were injured in this crash on Steamboat Hill on Monday

Five people in this black Ford were injured in this crash on Steamboat Hill on Monday

21 accidents over Christmas break, result of icy conditions

RCMP Staff Sergeant surprised by how fast people are driving in the slippery conditions.

  • Dec. 29, 2015 3:00 p.m.

Arne Petryshen

There were 21 motor vehicle accidents over the week of Monday, Dec. 21 to Monday Dec. 28.

Staff Sgt. Hector Lee said five of the accidents resulted in non-life threatening injuries.

“Most of them were on the highway, out of town,” Lee said. “We can attribute most of those accidents to the weather and poor driving.”

It is Lee’s first winter in the East Kootenay and he said he was surprised by how fast people are driving in the slippery conditions.

“You would just think people would slow down a little bit around here, but that’s not the case,” he said.

The majority of the accidents occurred on Dec. 24 and Dec. 28, when the big snowfalls occurred.

On Monday, RCMP responded to eight collisions in a matter of five hours. They attributed the accidents to extreme road conditions and speed. Police noted that Highwy 3/93, Hwy 95A and Hwy 3/95 were extremely slippery and asked motorists to use caution while driving. They also suggested Monday that people only travel if absolutely necessary and instead wait until conditions improve.

Mainroad, the company in charge of plow operations for East Kootenay Roads was expecting sporadic snow flurries Tuesday with low cloud and the weather is slowly moving south east through the area. This will be followed by cold temperatures of around -15 degrees Celsius.

“We have compact snow with slippery sections on all highways in the service area,” said Niki Taylor, Mainroad Group Communications. “Plowing and sanding is in progress. We will be using a pre-wetted sand to combat these conditions.”

Taylor said Mainroad would commence salting and de-icing once the road and air temperatures warm up to -6 degree Celsius or warmer for a period of four to six hours, which allows de-icing chemicals to work and resultant slush to be removed.