Afatal crash west of Winnipeg last week has sparked calls for road improvements— but when it comes to highways with serious accidents, that section is not the deadliest in the province.
Janette Rodewald, who tracks serious and fatal accidents for the RCMP, said the section of the Trans-Canada Highway near Headingley, Man.,— where a fiery crash claimed three lives Friday— is not the worst.
"There's only been one fatal collision this year, and last year there was only one as well in that stretch," said Rodewald, whose office is on the same section of road.
A 50-kilometre stretch of Highway 11, between Lac du Bonnet andTraverse Bayin eastern Manitoba, could be considered the province's most dangerous highway, Rodewald said.
"[It had] five fatal collisions last year, which is a very high number for such a short stretch of highway," she said. "It's been known as a deadly stretch of highway."
Five fatal accidents were also seen on the 450 kilometres of Trans-Canada Highway in Manitoba last year, Rodewald said. Seven crashes on the route this year have been fatal.
"The No. 1 is consistently the highest, [but] it's the longest stretch of highway, the most travelled stretch of highway, so obviously it's the highest," she said.
The Yellowhead Highway and Highway 10— both long stretches in western Manitoba— saw a total of six fatal crashes each in 2006.
It'sbecoming a deadly year for Highway 59 both north and south of Winnipeg, she added, with four fatal crashes. Last year, two people were killed on the highway.
Highways 6 and 12 were also "on the radar," she said.
All of the roads with numerous deadly crashes are long, busy and not twinned, meaning no barrier or space separates vehicles travelling in opposite directions.
In contrast, Rodewald said, Highway 75, the route connecting Winnipeg with the U.S. border, is also a long and busy route, but it is twinned with a wide ditch separating traffic and rarely sees a fatal accident.