RCMP urge caution on holiday weekend

Traffic fatalities take nine lives in seven days, two are tragic motorcycle accidents

 Nine Manitobans have lost their lives in motor vehicle collisions in the last seven days. As the July 1 long weekend begins, RCMP are issuing an important public safety message for Manitobans.

Two of the recent deaths involved two separate motorcycle accidents in Westman and the Parkland.

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Just before noon on June 22, officers from the Minnedosa RCMP responded to a report of a motorcycle collision on Hwy 5, located approximately two kilometres north of Kelwood, a community about 30 minutes north of Neepawa.

Police say that a motorcycle, driven by a 58-year-old male from Winnipeg, travelling northbound on Highway 5, left the road and entered the ditch. The lone driver was wearing a helmet, was thrown from the motorcycle and suffered life-threatening injuries.

He was taken to hospital in Winnipeg; on June 24, he succumbed to his injuries.

On June 26, at 10:50 p.m., officers from the Blue Hills RCMP responded to a report of a collision between a motorcycle and a vehicle on Hwy 2, near the intersection with Road 120 West, in the RM of Souris-Glenwood.

Officers attended the scene and have determined that a vehicle, driven by a 78-year-old man from the RM of Souris-Glenwood, was travelling eastbound on Hwy 2 when it crossed the center line and collided with a westbound motorcycle carrying two occupants, a 71-year-old man and a 70-year-old woman, both from Souris.

The 70-year-old female passenger was pronounced dead at the scene and the 71-year-old male operator of the motorcycle was transported to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

All three motorcycle occupants in both collisions were wearing helmets and speed and alcohol are not considered factors. A Forensic Collision Reconstructionist assisted with both collisions and they remain under investigation.

Drive defensively

July 1 celebrations are planned in many towns and campgrounds around the province are booked. With Manitobans headed to beaches, cottages, camp sites, and other holiday destinations, RCMP are asking drivers to:

•         drive sober,

•         wear a seatbelt,

•         slow down and drive to conditions,

•         be cautious and always aware of your surroundings,

•         pay attention to the road at all times,

•         keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you, and

•         put your cellphone away.

We want everyone to reach their destination safely.                                               

© Virden Empire-Advance