Calls for twinned highway renewed following fatal Pictou County crash
Published Tuesday, May 24, 2016 7:15PM ADT
Another fatal collision along a dangerous stretch of highway in Pictou County has the local fire chief renewing a call for a twinned highway.
“(The highway) was built in the seventies for traffic in the seventies,” said Joe MacDonald, Chief of Barneys River Fire Department. “Traffic today is heavier. There's less rail cars and that stuff taking freight. There's more transport trucks on the highway.”
A 35-year-old Halifax woman died and two others were sent to hospital Monday afternoon following the three-vehicle collision in Broadway, N.S. on Highway 104.
Police say it appears an SUV was travelling east on the highway when it crossed the centre line and struck the rear driver’s side of an oncoming pickup truck. Investigators say the SUV then collided head-on with a westbound car.
A three-year-old girl and a four-year-old boy had been in the car with the woman. The boy was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The girl wasn’t injured.
“Those kids today don't have a mother to go back to, they don't have a mother to get better with. It's sad to say,” said Chief Joe MacDonald of Barneys River Fire Department.
The 72-year-old female driver of the SUV sustained serious injuries in the crash and was airlifted to hospital in Halifax. Police say she is from Pomquet, N.S.
Edwin Miller was travelling from Cape Breton to Dartmouth when he came across the carnage.
“There was no lack of help,” said Miller. “A lot of people were stopped. When I got there a dozen cars pulled up on the side of the road.”
The crash on Highway 104 marks the 15th life lost on the stretch of highway since 2009.
Tammy MacLaren of New Glasgow organized a petition to have the highway twinned. It now has more than 6,000 signatures.
“With twinning we do know that it eliminates head on collisions,” said MacLaren.
Chief MacDonald says he emailed the premier of Nova Scotia and transportation minister, asking them to twin the highway. The province is currently completing a study on twinning 100 series highways.
“We really have to get the support from Nova Scotians either way,” said Nova Scotia Transportation Minister Geoff MacLellan. “If Nova Scotians want the status quo we can continue to do the twinning we do now, but if they want large-scale twinning in a short period, we have to look at options.”
But the fire chief hopes something will be done before any more lives are lost.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.