The Manitoba government is set to release the findings of a road safety strategy report on a deadly crash that led to the death of 17 seniors near Carberry last year.
The intersection of Highway 5 and the Trans-Canada, where the deadliest crash in Manitoba’s history occurred last June, had been the subject of criticism well before the incident. In the weeks following the tragedy, the province placed additional signage in the area, but the crossing remains controlled only by a stop sign.
Provincial leaders, including Premier Wab Kinew and transportation minister Lisa Naylor, will speak about the study’s results at 1 p.m. from Dauphin, the community that was home to those killed in the crash.
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Trucker Don Taylor told 680 CJOB’s The Start that safety upgrades to the intersection are long overdue, and that rules allowing double trailers have made it even more dangerous.
“If you’re taking a set of turnpikes to go into Carberry to pick up a load, you’re pretty much blocking the Trans-Canada while you’re waiting to turn,” Taylor said.
“I mean, 125 feet long — there’s no way you can fit that in that little area there between the east and westbound lanes. You’re sticking out into the westbound lanes, and you’re lucky if you don’t get clipped.”
Taylor, who drives a semi all across the country, said reducing the speed limit isn’t necessarily the best option to slow people down. In his experience, intersections with photo radar are where he’s seen the biggest changes.
His company often sends out messages to drivers letting them know to slow down in certain areas due to the potential for photo radar tickets.
“It slows down a lot of people. It really does. Maybe one out of 50 just goes sailing through there, and once the word gets out that’s there and you’re getting a ticket, people slow right down.
“Hit them in the wallet — that’s pretty much the only way people learn, unfortunately.”
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Adrienne Zurba, whose mother was one of those killed in the crash, told The Start that she fears the tragedy wasn’t the first and won’t be the last time people are killed at that intersection.
She said she hopes the report will give the public answers on just how many people have died or been injured in that location over the years.
“I was just told yesterday that there’s been two more accidents in the last 50 days,” she said Monday. “What’s it going to take? This is enough.
“It’s a graveyard of sad stories there and we really need to make that intersection better.”
Last summer’s crash, Zurba said, has been devastating for her family and the communities of Dauphin and Carberry, but it has also forever changed the lives of first responders at the scene that day.
“I’m really hoping the government’s going to come through on this, because obviously they have not been listening all along.
“This catastrophic accident had to make this happen… this hurts. This hurts so bad.
“The people that saw the accident, the ambulance attendants, STARS, it’s just catastrophic. They have to do something grand there, because this can never ever happen again.”
Global News will stream the press conference live on this page at 1 p.m.
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