While the initial accident was being investigated the two Police Motor vehicles were stopped on approaches or shoulder of the highway with their emergency equipment flashing. Oncoming drivers observed the police vehicles, and attempted to slow down. They were unable to stop due to icy roads or were struck in the rear by following vehicles. Additional collisions began occurring spreading several of these collisions throughout a 1/4 mile area. The vehicles involved in these additional collisions were scattered on and off of the road creating an extreme risk to occupants of the vehicles. Drivers of additional vehicles elected to drive their cars / trucks into the ditch to avoid being involved in ongoing collisions. A total of 10 additional vehicles we involved in these secondary collisions.
Additional resources including police officers, the Drumheller Fire Dept., Ambulance services, and Ledcor Highway Maintenance attended to the scene. Emergency services collectively were able to contain the site, and remove the injured. Newcastle Towing and Honest Engine towing services attended as soon as possible to remove the damaged vehicles. Ledcor administered salt to the highway and provided traffic control while the vehicles were being removed. The Drumheller Handi bus attended to take the uninjured persons into Drumheller
All of these collisions occurred as a result of many of these drivers driving in excess of "road and visibility conditions". A total of 5 persons were taken to the hospital for non life threatening.
The investigation is ongoing to determine if charges will be laid.
I wish to remind motorists that it is the drivers responsibility to insure that he/she is able to stop their vehicle in a safe manner in the event of slowing or stopping of a preceding vehicle. It is further the drivers responsibility to be able to bring their vehicle to a stop within the distance they can see. This was not the case today which resulted in many of these collisions. We were extremely fortunate that no one was seriously injured.