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Vehicles collide in front of Highway 2 rest stop on Canada Day

Driver was distracted by anti-carbon tax protesters: RCMP
Two vehicles collided in front of the Highway 2 rest stop near Lacombe on Canada Day. There were no injuries, said RCMP. (Advocate file photo)

A driver involved in a Canada Day three-vehicle collision on Highway 2 was apparently distracted by anti-carbon tax protesters, said RCMP.

RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Troy Savinkoff said a group in three vehicles were travelling southbound to Calgary when two of the vehicles collided about 3:50 p.m. in front of the provincial rest stop just north of Lacombe.

"It was described by one of the occupants in the collision that they were distracted by the protest," said Savinkoff on Tuesday.

The large stop on the west side of Highway 2 has been site of a protest encampment for more than two months.

No one was injured in the collision, which prompted RCMP to issue a warning at 5 p.m. that traffic was slow and reduced to one lane between about a six-kilometre stretch between Township Road 41-2 and Highway 12 west of Lacombe.

Photos posted on social media showed a pickup truck stopped on the highway with significant front-end damage in front of the anti-carbon tax protest site.

In a video posted on X an RCMP officer tells several protesters two children under the age of three were in the two vehicles. Another officer says he had just warned the protesters about the dangers of protesting at the edge of the highway just before the collision.

Savinkoff said the cause of the collision remains under investigation. There is no word yet on charges.

RCMP having been monitoring the rest stop protest site for weeks and routinely have stopped by to remind protesters to keep away from the highway.

"The proximity to the highway and the potential for distractions does concern us," said Savinkoff.

In April, five farm tractors on their way to a protest at a Crowsnest Pass protest caused a multi-vehicle collision.

In the last few months, RCMP have issued several releases alerting drivers to slow-moving traffic when a protest convoy is planning to use the highway.