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Winter storm leads to highway mayhem



The first significant snowfall of the winter season caused mayhem on local roads, with the RCMP receiving no less than eight calls for assistance in less than two hours regarding motor vehicle incidents — some incidents involving multiple vehicles.

But despite the volume of calls RCMP say most of the drivers were prepared for the snow and road services responded promptly to the conditions.

The first calls came in around 3:40 p.m. on Nov. 11 and continued until just before 5:30 p.m., causing road delays and closures.

At 3:40 p.m. the RCMP received a call from Highway 99 and Crazy Canuck Drive after a vehicle slid off the road into the ditch.

At 3:49 p.m. they received a report from Highway 99 and Nordic regarding a head-on between two vehicles. The police were unable to respond to that call but the two drivers were uninjured and exchanged their information before their vehicles were towed away.

At 3:50 p.m. the RCMP received a call from Highway 99 and Village Gate regarding a vehicle slowly sliding along the road, with traffic building up behind it. The caller was concerned because impatient people were trying to pass the vehicle on the outside.

At 3:57 p.m. there was another head-on at Highway 99 and Alta Lake Road after the northbound vehicle slid over the centre line. Both vehicles were travelling slowly, less than 30km/h at the time of the accident, and there were no injuries. Both vehicles were towed.

At 4:13 p.m. the RCMP received a call regarding another head-on at Highway 99 and Village Gate. There were no injuries and both vehicles were drivable after the incident.

At 4:22 p.m. the RCMP received a call regarding a vehicle in distress on Alta Lake Road. According to reports, the vehicle was following another vehicle up a hill when the vehicle up front became stuck. The van did have studded tires, but started to slide backwards after braking. The driver ended up with his two front tires on the roadway, with his back tires hanging over a 15-metre embankment. The driver held his brakes for more than half an hour until Whistler Fire Rescue Services could pull him to safety. A tow truck was also able to retrieve the vehicle, and the driver was able to drive away from the scene.

Related to that incident, the RCMP received a call from Alta Lake Road in Alpine Meadows, where several vehicles were in the ditch. A person heard shouting and thought there was a chance a fight might break out, but police determined that the drivers were helping each other.

At 5:26 p.m. the RCMP received a similar call from Blackcomb Way, which they took for a distress call. In fact, the caller had just been reporting the conditions of the road and called the RCMP to have that section of the road plowed and salted.