While Manitobans come to grips with news of Thursday’s fiery crash that left at least 15 people dead, some say if major changes aren’t made at the intersection where the crash happened, it could just be a matter of time before there is even more death and destruction near Carberry.
On Thursday, a small bus travelling from Dauphin to the Sand Hills Casino that was carrying 25 passengers collided with a semi-trailer truck at the intersection of Highway 1 (Trans-Canada Highway) and Highway 5, near the community of Carberry, about 160 kilometres west of Winnipeg.
According to RCMP, their initial investigation shows the bus was going south on Highway 5 and was crossing the eastbound lanes of the Trans-Canada Highway when it got hit by the semi.
Images posted from the crash scene on Thursday showed the bus at one point engulfed in flames, and RCMP said Thursday that there were 15 confirmed deaths, while 10 more people were sent to hospital.
Erin Myers of Winnipeg said when she heard the news and saw the images from the crash it hit close to home because she says she came close to losing her own life at the same intersection eight years ago under very similar circumstances.
Local, independent, in-depth.
Our Prairie stories.
“I saw some pictures yesterday of it and just brings me back, and I keep picturing my accident happening over and over,” Myers said about a 2015 incident.
“I was travelling westbound to Brandon and a vehicle didn’t stop at the stop sign at the intersection at Highway 5 and 1. I remember I hit the ditch so I wouldn’t T-bone the other driver, and I hit the stop sign.
“My car was totalled and I escaped with a broken collar bone, but it could have been worse. I’m sure it would have killed us both if we had T-boned.”
Myers said that since her accident she has worried there would be more accidents in the same spot.
“I think the biggest issue at the intersection is that people just don’t pay attention,” she said. “I think having a traffic light there would go a long way.
“Maybe something will finally be done.”
Keith Bazin of St. Malo works as a trucker for Tandet Logistics and said he travels regularly for work near the corner where Thursday’s crash happened.
Bazin said he has been worried for a long time about the dangers of that intersection because he said people are consistently trying to cross at Highway 5, while cars, trucks and semis travel at high rates of speed down the Trans-Canada Highway.
“That intersection is very bad because people don’t watch when crossing the highway,” Bazin said. “And a lot of people on the number 1 Highway don’t slow down in that area.
“The speed is reduced to 100 from 110 near that intersection, but I have seen many drivers blow through there at well over 110.”
Bazin said with traffic consistently trying to cross at the intersection on Highway 5, and with vehicles on the Trans- Canada allowed to do 100 km/h in the area, he believes it is time for changes to prevent further tragedies and death.
“It needs a lower speed limit, or it needs an interchange,” Bazin said.
A spokesperson with the Skilled Truckers Canada Facebook page, a group that documents highway crashes in Canada involving truckers and semis, told the Winnipeg Sun in an email on Friday that the intersection is known for being dangerous not only in Manitoba but among truckers across Canada.
“You don’t have to be from Manitoba to know that intersection,” the email reads. “Every truck running east to west or vice versa knows this intersection, and there have been a number of incidents there.
“This was just a matter of time.”
Our Prairie stories matter too.
The Flatlander takes a closer look at the stories that unite us, and make us unique, in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Will you help us tell our stories?