Speed, alcohol factors in deadly Whyte Avenue crash, police say

Just after 2 a.m., a BMW speeding east along Whyte Avenue and had just crossed 99th Street when the driver lost control, sheered off a large tree and crashed into the entrance of an apartment building.

A 21-year-old woman died and a 30-year-old driver is in hospital after early morning crash

Two speeders died on Edmonton streets in the past 24 hours, and just two months ago two people died after this speeding BMW crashed into a building on Whyte Avenue. (Lydia Neufeld/CBC)

Speed and alcohol were likely factors in a deadly crash on Whyte Avenue early this morning that killed a 21-year-old woman, police say.

Just after 2 a.m., a BMW speeding east along Whyte Avenue and had just crossed 99th Street when the driver lost control, sheered off a large tree and crashed into the entrance of an apartment building.

A 21-year-old female passenger in the car was killed. The 30-year-old male driver taken to hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

Sgt. Eric Theuser, with major collision investigation unit said speed and alcohol were factors.

"We're entering into a dangerous driving — impaired operation investigation," he said.
Police are at the scene of a single vehicle crash on Whyte Avenue. (Lydia Neufeld/CBC)

The BMW was likely speeding when it came upon the road construction at 99th Street, where a new median is being built, Theuser said.

The driver hit the barricade, lost control of the car and and crashed into the entrance area of an apartment building, he said.

"To shear off a tree typically would involve a lot of speed," Theuser said. "That vehicle would have kept going if not for the retaining wall.

"When you see that kind of devastation, that kind of catastrophic collision, that's a great indicator of speed."

Apartment resident Shurlon Trotman said he was awakened by the crash.

"I looked out through my bedroom window and I saw smoke rising up," he said. "I ran downstairs, and when I came out through the back everyone was screaming. There's a bunch of neighbours from these buildings here in their nightgowns. Everybody ran to the car, we were trying to get the young lady out."

Trotman said the big rock near the entrance may have saved the building itself.

"If it wasn't there, suffice to say this car would have gone right in that unit. And considering this building is majority drywall, if that car had gone up in flames then this whole building would have gone up in flames. It could have been a lot worse."

Police say they have not yet laid any charges against the driver.