2 Sask. highway crashes kill 9

It was a deadly weekend on Saskatchewan highways, with nine people losing their lives in two separate accidents.

It was a deadly Sunday on Saskatchewan highways, with nine people losing their lives in two separate accidents.

Six people died in a head-on collision on Highway 8, about 17 kilometres south of Rocanville, a town of about 900 people near the Manitoba border, about 230 kilometres east of Regina.

Earlier in the day, there was another deadly crash near Saltcoats, about 215 kilometres northeast of Regina, that claimed three lives.

4 young adults, mother, son killed on Hwy. 8

In the Highway 8 collision, a northbound sport utility vehicle went into the southbound lane and collided with a pickup truck, which rolled and caught fire, the RCMP said.

The four young men, ages 18, 18, 20 and 21, who were riding in the pickup all died.

A 50-year-old woman driving the SUV and her 26-year-old son were also killed. Another son, 23, who was also a passenger survived and was taken to hospital in critical condition. The family is from Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan.

The four men in the pickup were from Rocanville. One was a current student and three were former students of the town's school.

School officials said word of the tragedy spread quickly, and the town is in a state of shock.

"We presently have counsellors available; they're on site for staff and students," said Lynn Little, the superintendent of the school division that includes Rocanville.

Police said there was snow and blowing snow reported in the area when the crash occurred around 2:40 p.m. CST.

Collision while car tried to pass

The crash near Saltcoats occurred around 11:30 a.m. just east of the village on Highway 16, the RCMP said.

A westbound car was trying to pass another vehicle when it collided head-on with an eastbound minivan.

A third vehicle that was travelling behind the van was also involved in the crash.

A 17-year-old Yorkton girl, the driver of the westbound Honda Civic, died.

Also killed were the 38-year-old driver of the minivan and his wife, also 38, who were from Winnipeg.

Four of their children were also in the crash. Two boys, ages 15 and 13, were airlifted to Regina General Hospital in critical condition. 

Two other boys, ages 16 and nine, were taken to hospital in Yorkton with injuries that have not been disclosed.

Roads at the time were snow-covered, and visibility was reduced, the RCMP said.

Police said they have not received permission from any of the families to release the names of the victims.