Sudden whiteout conditions led to multiple crashes on highways around Regina Thursday.
The conditions snuck up on drivers as high winds and blowing snow wreaked havoc on highways in southern Saskatchewan in a matter of hours.
Brian MacKenzie left work early to get home to Moose Jaw Thursday and was caught in whiteout conditions so bad he could barely see past his front bumper. He said he almost wound up in a farmer’s field thinking he had missed his turnoff from a grid road.
Once he got on the highway he had a “white-knuckle drive” ending in a ping-pong crash involving six vehicles.
He thought he got past the worst of the storm at the Belle Plain overpass when a white van in front of him disappeared. He dodged it then pulled over to the side of the road.
“I tried to collect my thoughts and let other people know it is treacherous nightmare where I’m sitting and before I could get any other thoughts in my noggin I was hit from the rear end and quite a few times after that,” Mackenzie described in a phone interview with 980 CJME.
He got out of his vehicle to check on other drivers and try to exchange insurance information with them when he heard another crash.
“I thought my car had passed me and I went in behind it, but that wasn’t actually the case. I found out from my dash cam that I was bounced off my hood and pushed into the ditch by it,” Mackenzie said.
He stayed on the scene for about an hour “vibrating” then talked to an RCMP officer and decided to walk toward Belle Plain where he was eventually picked up by his father.
“I do not want to ever go through that ever again,” Mackenzie said.
His van is outfitted with several cameras which captured the whole crash on video which he posted to Facebook.
RCMP reported that Moose Jaw EMS assessed eight people at the scene of the crash and took six to hospital but their injuries were not life-threatening.
White Butte RCMP also reported a multi-vehicle crash on Highway 1 near the Pinkie Road overpass around 4 p.m. A few hours later another crash closed Highway 6 just south of Regina. There are no further details about the outcome of those crashes at this time.
By Friday morning driving conditions had improved, but there were still reports of glare ice and drifting snow to the west and south of Regina. Check the Highway Hotline for updated conditions.