Six young people were hurt when a pickup truck slammed into a car on Highway 59 northeast of Winnipeg on Sunday night.

It happened near the intersection for the South Beach Casino and Resort, near the community of Scanterbury, at about 8 p.m.

The southbound pickup truck, hauling a boat and trailer, ran a red light and struck the northbound car as it was turning at the intersection, RCMP said.

Ginew Kent, 18, said he was behind the wheel of the car when it was T-boned by the truck. As of Monday, he was sore but feeling lucky to be alive.

"All I remember was seeing that white truck hit the rear end of the driver's side," Kent told CBC News.

In all, there were four teenagers in the car and two children, including a two-year-old. All suffered varying degrees of concussions and most have broken bones.

A 14-year-old girl had a broken jaw and collarbone, while a 10-year-old girl suffered broken hips.

A 13-year-old girl, who was celebrating her birthday, shielded her two-year-old cousin from the brunt of the impact.

The teen has broken ribs and a broken collarbone, while the two-year-old boy did not suffer any broken bones.

Kent and a 17-year-old boy suffered concussions and had some bruises.

Kids in 'pretty bad shape,' says cousin

Spring Abaunza, who saw the collision, said three of her cousins were injured.

"It happened so fast. The truck pulling the boat just hit them so hard and I heard it and I was like, 'Oh My God, that better not be the kids,'" Abaunza said.

"They were all in pretty bad shape. They got thrown from the vehicle, the two girls, and it was horrible to see that," she added.

"It's very disturbing when you see kids hurt like that."

The driver of the truck, a 40-year-old man from Dugald, was taken into police custody and charges are being determined. He was the sole occupant of the truck.

Alcohol is considered to be a factor in the collision, RCMP noted.

The casino is located on the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, located about 60 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.

The stretch of Highway 59 where the collision happened runs through the First Nation, and some members say it's not the first time a crash has happened there.

Kent's grandparents died in a crash on the same highway 43 years ago, according to the teen's father.

"Nine people died there: my parents, my sister and her husband," said Ralph Kent.

"In our language, we call that onjinae — in rough translation, 'déjà vu; what goes around will always come back until it's dealt with,'" he added.

80 km/h speed limit

The elder Kent said the problem is with vehicles driving on the highway through the First Nation, even by the local school, at speeds of 80 kilometres an hour.

Brokenhead Chief Jim Bear said the provincial government has not been willing to lower the speed limit through the First Nation.

"They just refuse to bring it down to a reasonable limit," Bear said.

Ralph Kent said he thinks he knows why the speed limit has not been lowered.

"To me, it's because we're Indian. We're expendable," he said.

Manitoba government officials told CBC News the highway speed limit through the Brokenhead First Nation has already been reduced from 100 kilometres an hour to 80.

Officials said they have received no requests to further reduce that speed limit.


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