Saskatchewan crash kills 2 adults, 1 child; safety questions raised again

A fatal two-car crash early Sunday morning has brought up calls for changes at the intersection of Highway 11 and Wanuskewin Road, north of Saskatoon.

3 killed in crash on Highway 11 and Wanuskewin Road outside Saskatoon, including infant boy

The intersection of Highway 11 and Wanuskewin Road. (Google Street View)

A fatal two-car crash early Sunday morning has brought up calls for changes at the intersection of Highway 11 and Wanuskewin Road, just north of Saskatoon, which has been the scene of multiple car crashes over several years.

A 33-year-old woman, a 34-year-old man and a two-year-old boy were all killed after their westbound car was hit by an SUV attempting to cross the highway on Wanuskewin Road.

A five-year-old girl in the car survived, but was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

In one vehicle, there was a 49-year-old woman, said MD Ambulance spokesman Troy Davies. The woman was "basically in stable condition," but was transported to a hospital.

It's frustrating for our paramedics to continue to go to crashes at this scene.- Troy Davies, MD Ambulance

After the woman driving the SUV was released from hospital, police said she was arrested, and charges against her are pending. RCMP said alcohol was a factor.

In January 2012, two separate crashes at the corner of Highway 11 and Wanuskewin Road injured a total of eight people in one weekend.

In September 2012, two men were taken to hospital after colliding at the intersection. Less than a week later, a 34-year-old woman travelling westbound was killed when she was hit by a truck.

Paramedics, officials concerned over high speed intersection

Davies said MD Ambulance made public their concerns around the intersection.

"We have voiced many times over the past five years the amount of crashes that we do at this scene," he said.

"It's frustrating for our paramedics to continue to go to crashes at this scene, because usually they are high speed and we've seen multiple fatalities or critical patients come from this intersection."

Deputy Mayor of Warman, Sask., Gary Philipchuk, said he has heard a lot of concerns from people who use the stretch of highway regularly.

"Any time there's a place that people will cross four lanes of highway, bad situations can happen. And that's one I know we've taken to the Ministry [of Highways]," he said. 

The ministry did not respond to request for comment.

​Philipchuk said that as the communities in the area grow and more people commute into Saskatoon, safety around the intersection has become a larger issue.

Drivers asking province for change

Sherry Turanich, who lives in Saskatoon, said she has constant worry because her daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren regularly commute from Osler, Sask. into the city.

"I am fearful all of the time," she said.

She said it's time the provincial government stepped in to address "all the deaths that are occurring at that intersection."

"I've seen it happen over and over again, and it's becoming more frequent that these deaths are occurring," she said.

Turanich's call for change was echoed on social media.

"I avoid this intersection on test drives with my customers like the plague. ... I feel like you're rolling the dice every time, especially with people I don't know very well. Thoughts go out to this family. Very sad," Mitch Aichele said on CBC Saskatchewan's Facebook page.

"Saskatchewan should take a page from the Province of Manitoba. They have lights on [Highway]1 before you enter Winnipeg. Wake up Saskatchewan. I love our province, but learn from our neighbouring province," Lana Thompson-Van Eaton posted.

People suggested traffic lights, slower speeds, barricades and an overpass as possible solutions.

With files from CBC's Kelly Malone and Brian Rodgers and Radio-Canada's Anouk Lebel


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