Three temporary foreign workers from the Philippines are dead after a Ford Mustang they were travelling in lost control on Highway 11 and was struck by an oncoming five-ton moving van.
RCMP from Rocky Mountain House, Alta., and Sylvan Lake, Alta., responded to the scene at 3 p.m. where it appears the Mustang was travelling westbound on Highway 11 near Range Road 42 when the driver lost control and careened into the north side ditch.
Investigators on scene believe the driver successfully drove the Mustang out of the ditch, ending up facing east in the eastbound lane where it was struck from behind by a five-ton moving van.
The male driver of the vehicle survived and was transported by STARS Air Ambulance to hospital while a female passenger sitting in the front seat of the Mustang was pronounced dead at the scene.
Initially RCMP confirmed there was at least one person dead in the back seat of the Mustang, but the severity of the wreckage made it impossible for rescue crews to access the backseat until hours later, when it was discovered that there were two deceased males in the back of the car.
It is believed that all three deceased passengers were temporary foreign workers, returning from English language classes in Red Deer, Alta.
Both the driver and passenger in the moving van were unharmed.
While the investigation is still ongoing, authorities do not consider alcohol or speed factors in the collision, and believe it may have been a case of driver inexperience combined with icy road conditions.
“There was freezing rain in the area, and there were still icy patches on the road at the time of the collision,” Drinkwater said.
Drivers were rerouted onto Township road 384 up to Range Road 43 to get around the accident, which closed a portion of Highway 11 while RCMP continued their investigation.
The accident occurred approximately 40 kilometres east of Rocky Mountain House.
None of the victims are being identified as RCMP work to notify their next of kin, some of whom live overseas.