It was a busy Sunday for Lacombe Fire Department.
On the afternoon of Aug. 11, Lacombe Fire Department was dispatched to three separate motor vehicle collisions along Hwy. 2.
All three pages were sent out within about an hour and a half.
First, around 4:30 p.m., Lacombe fire crews responded to a single vehicle rollover in the northbound lane of Hwy. 2 north of Hwy. 12. Three individuals were in the vehicle when it rolled. One was transported via ambulance to Lacombe Hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries, a second was transported by police and a third left the scene before police arrived, said Fire Chief Ed Van Delden.
The incident is still under investigation.
As fire crews were returning to the hall, they received a second call to a three-vehicle collision in the northbound lane of Hwy. 2 south of Hwy. 12.
Van Delden said fire crews assisted to remove passengers from the vehicles but did not need to cut into the vehicle at all to extricate anyone.
At that incident, crews were just clearing the scene when they were paged to another incident at the south intersection of Hwy. 2 and 2A.
In the third incident, a large motorhome had reportedly rear-ended a small car.
One of the car’s occupants was transported via ambulance to Lacombe Hospital complaining of back injuries but had no life-threatening injuries, fire crews said.
“I don’t think it’s a stretch to suggest that these accidents were somehow connected with the traffic slowing down,” said Van Delden. He added that emergency scenes themselves are distracting for drivers, and it is always important for drivers to keep their eyes on the road, no matter what may be happening outside.
“If you are on the roadway, you better be looking down the roadway.”
It may be useful for drivers to remember that they are only required to slow down at accident scenes when there are emergency vehicles present and slowing down to observe an accident that has already been cleared by emergency crews may only serve to distract other drivers.
Of course, it is also important to drive at a speed that is appropriate for road conditions and the flow of traffic, said Van Delden.
“Obviously, if the car is slowing down ahead of you, you need to slow down as well.”
Van Delden added that accidents can be caused by drivers paying attention to distractions, such as emergency scenes, and not realizing the vehicles in front of them are slowing down.