Passenger killed as packed car rolls

One person is dead, four people have been taken to hospital and a teenager is in custody after a car carrying seven people rolled early Thursday in northwest Edmonton, police say.
Police say both alcohol and speed contributed to a rollover early Thursday that left one person dead. ((CBC))

One person is dead, four people have been taken to hospital and a teenager is in custody after a car carrying seven people rolled early Thursday in west Edmonton, police say.

Police said they believe both speed and alcohol were factors in the crash.

Eyewitnesses reported a 2002 Pontiac Grand Am speeding eastbound on Stony Plain Road as it approached 231st Street just before 6 a.m., police said.

When police arrived at the scene, they found six passengers — three males and three females — suffering from injuries ranging from life-threatening to minor. A seventh person, a male believed to be the driver, ran away from the scene, police said.

One person was treated for minor injuries at the scene, police said.

The five remaining passengers were taken to hospital where one of the men, who had been ejected from the car when it rolled, was pronounced dead. Three remain in hospital with serious injuries, police said.

A police dog tracked the driver through a nearby neighbourhood, police said. Later, an officer spotted a person matching the description of the driver at a convenience store near 107 Avenue and 215 Street. A 17-year-old male was taken into custody.

Traffic in the area was disrupted until noon as police investigated.

Man finds 'clear message' in tragedy

A man whose niece survived the crash hopes something positive will come out of the tragedy. 

"A life's a life," he said, "but when it comes close to my own family and my blood  … I was really concerned about that.

"An accident like this is a profound message to our community here," he said. "I'm hoping that we all hear — as band members — to really evaluate our way of socializing and drinking. That it is a clear message.

"The biggest concern right now is trauma," he added. "We've lost so many band members in the past year at Enoch and they were premature. We should be a lot more proactive after this but the most important thing is the support."