'Erratic' driver dies in crash with RCMP vehicle

A Saskatoon man is dead and an RCMP officer is in serious condition after a head-on crash Friday afternoon.

Saskatoon man dead; Mountie in serious condition

A Saskatoon man is dead and an RCMP officer is in serious condition after a head-on crash Friday afternoon.

According to RCMP, the man who died was driving the wrong way on Highway 11 near Chamberlain, Sask., when he struck a parked police vehicle, an SUV, around 2:30 p.m. CST.

Police did not release the name of the man, 35, but said he died at the scene.

The officer inside the RCMP SUV, a 47-year-old member of the Craik detachment, was taken by helicopter to hospital in Regina with what were described as serious injuries.

The officer was investigating a single-vehicle rollover when he was hit.

There were no further details provided about that crash.

Police said the RCMP vehicle's emergency lights were activated at the time.

They said the Saskatoon driver, who was described as travelling in an "erratic" manner, hit the RCMP vehicle head on.

A spokesman for the Mounties said they were still investigating the case and were not able to say if alcohol was a factor.

However, Cpl. Rob King said they were looking at the possibility that the errant driver had just sped through the town of Chamberlain, which is about 80 kilometres northwest of Regina.

"We'd received complaints about a vehicle travelling at a high rate of speed through the town of Chamberlain," King said Saturday. "There's still some more witness follow-ups to do, but it's a good suspicion that it was the same vehicle."

He said the vehicle damage from the impact was significant.

"Looking at the amount of damage to both vehicles, I'd say the speed [at the time of the crash] was high," he added.

The crash took place on Highway 11, just outside of Chamberlain, Sask. (Google Streetview)

King explained that there is two-lane divided highway on either side of Chamberlain where the speed limit is 110 km/h, but  the highway narrows to a two-lane undivided highway and drops to 50 km/h as it passes through the community.

King said the crash happened just before the highway becomes divided again. He said it was a straight stretch of road and that conditions were dry and visibility was clear at the time.

With files from The Canadian Press