Messy roads lead to fatal collision near Fox Creek

RCMP are urging drivers to slow down or avoid driving as they deal with several collisions across Alberta on Saturday, including one resulting in a man's death.

Two collisions on highway 43 northwest of Edmonton involved more than 30 vehicles, RCMP say

Road conditions on QEII between Red Deer and Olds were reported to be treacherous on Saturday. (Jamie Adair)

RCMP are urging drivers to slow down or avoid driving as they deal with several collisions across Alberta on Saturday, including one resulting in a man's death. 

Two collisions on Highway 43, 265 kilometres northwest of Edmonton, involved more than 30 vehicles, RCMP Cpl. Laurel Scott said. 

At about 1 p.m., at least 17 vehicles were involved in a collision east of Fox Creek. One man died after being injured in this collision, Scott said in a release Saturday night. 

Another 15 vehicles were in a second pile-up east of the first accident. 

The southbound lane of Highway 43 at Fox Creek is closed and traffic is backed up for several kilometres. At about 8 p.m., RCMP expected the cleanup to take another hour, with two trucks removing the vehicles blocking traffic. 

Scott said treacherous road conditions persist across much of the province.

"We have poor road conditions, icy conditions, some black ice, sometimes some blowing snow," she said.

Highway 43 near Fox Creek, 265 kilometres northwest of Edmonton, was closed earlier Saturday before one lane was opened later in the day. (Kathy M. Wilson)

Scott urged people to defer travel if possible until conditions improve. 

"I know it's hard on people, they want to get somewhere for Christmas," she said.

"If you are going to travel, then please travel very slowly and be prepared for maybe a long travel day, don't be impatient and just take your time."

Conditions on Highway 2 between Airdrie and Innisfail were particularly icy as well, she said. 

"Sheer ice — there are vehicles going into the ditch on that stretch of Highway 2." 

Cochrane RCMP say there's white-out conditions with limited visibility on  Highway 1, Highway 1A, Highway 22, and roads west of Calgary.

Scott said she didn't have information on injuries as RCMP members in the field were busy dealing with collisions and didn't yet have time to report.