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Barrhead man killed in two-vehicle crash on Highway 769

A collision reconstructionist was brought in to help determine the cause of a fatal collision Aug. 18 on a Northern Alberta highway.
Barrhead Regional Fire Services firefighters put out a pickup that burst into flames due to an Aug. 18 collision on Highway 769 at about noon. The crash claimed the life of a Barrhead man, while a second driver sustained serious, but non-life-threatening injuries.

BARRHEAD - A Barrhead man was killed and another sustained serious, but non-life-threatening injuries, following a two-vehicle collision on Highway 769 (Neerlandia Highway) north of Township Road 604 around noon Aug. 18.

Barrhead RCMP Detachment Sgt. Bob Dodds said in an Aug. 21 interview that in the case of all serious accidents, a collision reconstructionist has been brought in to determine what happened.

"I've been at this a few years and when I arrive on the scene, I typically can determine what happened, but this one is very confusing. You do not often have a vehicle burst into flames because of a collision," said Dodds, adding that although the investigation is ongoing, they believe they have a good idea of what happened.

Dodds noted that the reconstructionist was able to retrieve data from one of the vehicles, adding the data boxes record roughly the last 30 seconds before a collision.

"Which is plenty of time to determine driving patterns, that sort of the thing," he said.

Dodds also commended the efforts of two civilians who attempted to get the driver out of the pickup while it was burning, calling their efforts “heroic.” He noted the driver likely died on impact, but “they did not know that."

Dodds also commended the public for their patience, adding the highway was closed for several hours for clean-up and the investigation.

"People received the (Barrhead and Area Crime Coalition) alert, and word got around pretty quickly, and we did not have many people trying to get around the accident scene or complaining, which made our jobs a lot easier," he said.

Barry Kerton,


Barry Kerton

About the Author: Barry Kerton

Barry Kerton is the managing editor of the Barrhead Leader, joining the paper in 2014. He covers news, municipal politics and sports.
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