Atlantic News | Local Breaking | CTV News Atlantic
Deadly crash prompts calls for twinning of Highway 103
There are renewed calls for the twinning of one of Nova Scotia’s deadliest highways after two people were killed in a head-on collision on the weekend.
Politicians vow twinning the rest of Nova Scotia’s Highway 103, which runs from Halifax to Yarmouth, is a top priority but no one is willing to say when construction will begin.
“I’ve lived here 21 years. It was a death trap between (exits) four and five and they twinned that and now people are killing themselves between (exits) five and six,” says motorist Bill Zimmerman.
Two people died in the two-vehicle collision that shut down a section of the highway for several hours Saturday.
LunenburgCounty RCMPresponded to the crash at Exit 6 near Hubbards around 10:45 a.m.
Police say preliminary investigation revealed the driver, and lone occupant, of an eastbound van swerved into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with a westbound SUV.
The driver of the van, 75-year-old Myrtle Veinotte of Beech Hill, died at the scene.
Four of the six occupants in the SUV, believed to be from Toronto, were injured – three of them critically.
Luigi Liscio, 87, of Toronto died at a Halifax hospital Sunday night. Two other passengers remain in hospital in critical condition.
The incident has more people calling for the stretch of highway, nicknamed Nova Scotia’s highway of death, to be twinned.
“I do about 60,000 kilometres a year up and down the highway all over Nova Scotia and it would be really nice if it was twinned,” says motorist Alphonse Benteau. “The rumble strip is good but by the time people hear that, it’s probably too late.”
There have been 16 crashes on the stretch of highway since 2010, resulting in the deaths of six people.
“They don’t seem to care about the people that are being killed and the families that are being affected,” says Bruce Hetherington, whose son died on the highway five years ago.
Hetherington has been fighting to get the highway twinned ever since his son’s fatal accident, and now there are signs it could become an election issue.
“I think that needs to be a priority of the government,” says Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie. “As premier, I would work with Ottawa in getting the money to get that done.”
Nova Scotia’s transportation minister says the twinning of Highway 103 is a priority but he also says the government wants to see all of the province’s highways twinned.
“We’ve got a five-year plan going forward. Part of that does include some work on the 103,” says Maurice Smith. “It’s impossible to do all at once so we’re doing what we can.”
But Hetherington says the issue isn’t about politics.
“I don’t care who’s in government, if it’s Dexter, is it’s McNeil, if it’s Baillie, I really don’t care,” he says. “I’m not going anywhere.”
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kayla Hounsell