The mayor of a Manitoba community that lost three people in a fatal crash on Saturday says his community is devastated.

​"The most appropriate word would be heartbroken. There's not many things that prepare you for something like this," Carberry Mayor Stuart Olmstead told CBC.

"I think the overall mood has been one of sadness. It's not something you have to deal with on any typical day."

Two boys aged 10 and 13 along with a 36-year-old man died after a minivan they were in collided with a semi on the Trans-Canada Highway just outside of Portage la Prairie Saturday.

Highway 16 + Trans-Canada Manitoba

The mayor of Carberry says this intersection is a problem. (Google Maps)

RCMP say the eastbound minivan was trying to make a left turn to head north on Highway 16 around 1:15 p.m. when it collided with a westbound semi.

The driver, a 35-year-old woman, and an eight-year-old boy remain in hospital in critical but stable condition. Olmstead said the victims are well-known and have deep roots within the community and he knew them personally.

Concerns about intersection raised

The intersection where the crash happened has been a concern for some time, Olmstead said.

"I think everybody in southwestern Manitoba has either had a close call there or know somebody that has had an accident there."

The mayor said the province promised to put an overpass at the intersection but it never was constructed.

"Something has to happen at that corner."

with files from Radio Noon