Highway 1 collision brings renewed calls for safety at intersection

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72-year-old man killed

SANDRA M STANWAY
Brooks Bulletin

There are renewed calls for intersection controls at the JBS Canada corner following a fatal collision on Monday afternoon.
Brooks First Responders responded to a collision between a pick-up truck and an SUV in the eastbound lane of Highway 1 and Range Road 15-0, the intersection at the food processing plant, at about 5 p.m.
While the investigation is continuing with assistance from the RCMP collision analyst, police are reporting the pick-up truck was travelling southbound towards Range Road 15-0 when it collided with the eastbound SUV on Highway 1.
“The driver of the SUV, a 72-year-old male, was deceased at the scene,” states a press release.
The 71-year-old female passenger of the SUV was transported to Brooks Health Centre and later airlifted to Calgary Foothills Hospital by STARS in stable condition.
The couple are former Brooks area residents.
The driver of the pick-up was transported to Brooks Health Centre.
“There is no indication at this time that drugs or alcohol were a factor in the collision and charges have not been laid at this time,” states the release.
Following the collision many people took to social media to vent their anger at the lack of controls at the JBS Canada intersection.
“How many lives does Brooks have to lose at JBS on Number 1 highway,” posted Michelle Melnychuk.
“We as citizens need to do something. All our lives are at risk driving there.”
Melnychuk did praise First Responders for the number of times they attend the intersection because of collisions.
“So sad, as another accident there now.”
Other postings suggest JBS employees only use Gun Club Road to get to and from work.
“I don’t know how many times I’ve almost been hit there by drivers pulling out and going to the far right lane and not going highway speeds.
“Workers should have to use the Gun Club Road going and leaving work. It would be safer for everyone,” posted Dawn Michelle.
Another person suggested the JBS parking lot be redesigned to disallow drivers from accessing the highway which, according to county deputy reeve Brian de Jong, has been discussed by the company.
“JBS has talked about changing the exit strategy from their parking lot and constructing a lane that goes right to the Gun Club Road,” he said.
“The high collision intersection is a concern to council. We have repeatedly brought it up to transportation,” he said.
“Ultimately, it is transportation’s intersection and their road would have to be signed.”
Since 2010 there have been calls from county officials as well as previous Brooks RCMP staff sergeants to improve the intersection.
De Jong said at the Rural Municipalities Association (RMA) convention in the fall transportation officials assured councillors there would be an engineer’s study.
In the spring council members and administration again met with transportation and were again assured they were going to do something.”
Brooks RCMP Sgt. Bruce Mcdonald agrees.
“Safety needs to be addressed at the intersection,” he said.
If you have any information regarding this or any other crime, please contact the Brooks RCMP at 403-794-4400 or anonymously at 403-794-4484 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or text the keyword tttTIPS and your information to 274637.