Icy conditions on QEII Highway lead to multiple crashes

Poor winter driving conditions north of Calgary on the Queen Elizabeth II Highway led to a multi-vehicle collision near Airdrie on Thursday morning, RCMP say.

2 southbound semi-trailers crossed into northbound lanes near the Highway 72 overpass, say RCMP

RCMP say they responded to multiple collisions on the QEII Highway between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. today. (RCMP)

Poor winter driving conditions north of Calgary on the Queen Elizabeth II (QEII) Highway led to multiple collisions near Airdrie on Thursday morning.

Corp. Darrin Turnbull said two southbound semi-trailers crossed into the northbound lanes near the Highway 72 overpass.

The first semi hit the cable barrier in the centre median, but crossed into the northbound lane before the cable re-directed it back to the centre median.

The driver of a northbound Honda CRV had to take evasive action to avoid it.  

Minutes later, a second semi pulling an empty 53-foot box trailer also lost control while driving southbound on the highway and crossed over the newly-damaged cable barrier.

RCMP say two other vehicles were northbound at that time, but having just driven past the first collision they were both able to react quickly to avoid head-on collisions with the out-of-control semi. 

One vehicle entered the ditch and the second vehicle swerved, but still made minor contact with the semi.

No injuries were reported.

Road conditions are poor, with some sections of the highway wet and other sections very icy, Turnbull said.

RCMP say there have been several collisions near Ponoka and Red Deer on the QEII as well.

Officers also had to issue a speeding ticket on the way back to Airdrie after clearing the scene. A small compact car was travelling 151 kilometres per hour just south of the collision area when it was pulled over.

RCMP say a 68-year-old Calgary man was issued tickets for speeding and careless driving.