Page 4 tuesday, DECEMBER 3, 2013
Local NEWS Elk Valley Accident
Man and woman helped rescue family from river Tamar a Hynd Fernie Free Press
A father and his three children under the age of 10 are recovering from their injuries after a traffic accident thanks to the quick assistance of a Fernie man on Sunday, December 1. A family of five was travelling eastbound returning home to Coaldale, Alberta when their vehicle left Highway 3, plunging into an arm of the Elk River. The
vehicle, a white Chevrolet minivan, came to rest upside down in the water. A passing motorist and his girlfriend went down into the river and rescued all five occupants from the minivan. At approximately 2:30 p.m., Elk Valley RCMP from Fernie and East Kootenay Traffic Services (EKTS) responded to the collision on Highway 3 about eight kilometres west of
Fernie known as Vanghal’s straight stretch. “Witnesses at the scene and RCMP members engaged in CPR on the female passenger but tragically, she was pronounced dead at the Fernie Hospital,” said Elk Valley RCMP. “RCMP members and a travelling physician managed to revive the four-year-old child by conducting CPR. The male driver and one of his children were treat-
ed at Sparwood hospital with minor injuries including hypothermia. The other two children were transported to Alberta Children’s Hospital by air ambulance with severe injuries.” The Fernie man who helped rescue the family was treated for hypo-
thermia and released. RCMP is in contact with the young man who is asking for his privacy. Sgt. Don Erichsen commented on the Fernie man’s heroic actions. “It’s an extremely traumatic situation and he risked his own life to
“We follow a very strict protocol of the main roads first. These are the roads that emergency vehicles would use, the hills, the curves, the roads that transit uses. After that we go to the lesser travelled roads. When those are done, we go to the side streets,” said McGowan. After the snow stops, it takes approximately three days before Public Works can completely clean up the snow, McGowan said. Sidewalks will be done simultaneously but are a lower priority, he added. “It’s a combination of manpower and machinery in keeping ev-
erything running.” Meanwhile, Mainroad East Kootenay was working hard to stay on top of the accumulation, despite a power outage at their headquarters in Cranbrook’s industrial area. “We have lots of extra people called in plus our regularly scheduled ones. The better part of our equipment is on the road,” said general manager Jim Conley. “It hit hard and it hit fast across the area. We had very little precipitation through the afternoon and evening (Sunday), then it just came and came hard.” Conley said that though the snow may
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be finished by Monday night, the roads will continue to be a concern this week with cold weather hitting.
“Moisture is coming over the mountains from Alberta, spilling over into the East Kootenay. It’s the collision of the two – moist air above, Arctic air below – and it’s just really bad.” Doug Lundquist Environment Canada
“The biggest concern now is the temperature drop (Monday
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snowfall. In the initial investigation, it appears that the minivan may have been attempting a pass and lost control on the slushy centre area of the straight stretch of roadway. Investigation into the collision is continuing.
Blizzard wallops region Continued from page 1
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help. One person did die and when you stand that close to death that’s a large cross for anyone to bear. He is asking for privacy at this time.” Road conditions at the time of the collision were slushy on the centre of the roadway due to an overnight
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night). That’s the biggest worry,” said Conley. “The compacted snow will freeze.” The good news about all this snow is that Kimberley Alpine Resort is taking advantage of the early season snowfall by opening early for a preview weekend this Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 7 and 8, before its official seven-day opening on Saturday, Dec. 14. “Thirty-five centimetres have fallen in the last 24 hours and there is no stopping in sight,” said Matt Mosteller, Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Resorts of the Canadian Rockies. The huge dump of snow was caused by the collision of two fronts, said Environment Canada’s Doug Lundquist. “What’s happening is Arctic air is moving in at the same time that moisture is moving in from Alberta,” he said. “Moisture is coming over the mountains from Alberta, spilling over into the East Kootenay. It’s the collision of the two — moist air above, Arctic air below — and it’s just really bad.” The snow will let up Monday night and then it’s “nothing but sunny icons until Sunday,” added Lundquist. But with the clearer weather will come cold. Temperatures will get down to the minus 20s by Wednesday, Lundquist said, and stay that way into the foreseeable future. “It looks like it’s going to try to warm up from the west but not enough. I can’t see a big warm up in your neck of the woods.”
December 03, 2013 edition of the Cranbrook Daily Townsman