A tragic crash near St. Denis Wednesday has restarted discussion around the need to make a Saskatchewan highway safer.
A family of three from the small community of Meacham were killed when their SUV collided with a semi-truck on Highway 5 near St. Denis on Jan.4.
They have since been identified as David and Amanda Savage and their young son Tyson.
The mayor of the nearby town of Bruno, Dale Glessman, knew the family and said he uses the highway regularly.
“That stretch of highway is very dangerous,” he said. “There’s lots of traffic on it. There’s no shoulder. There’s talk about passing lanes. That would definitely help.”
Glessman said many people commute from Bruno and Humboldt and use Highway 5.
“It’s just atrocious, the amount of vehicles and semis that are on there,” he said.
Glessman noted while there’s been talk about putting in passing lanes, nothing has happened yet.
“Just this past Tuesday I was in (Saskatoon) to get my regular load and a semi passed me going up a hill on a double line. After I heard about this accident, I thought, ‘That could’ve been me the other day.’”
Not only does the highway lack passing lanes and guard rails, Glessman said speed can also be a problem.
“The speed limit is 100 kilometres an hour. And people pass you like you’re standing still.”
There’s still no word from police on the cause of Wednesday’s collision, but people online are sharing Glessman’s sentiments on safety.
“I travel it nearly every day. I was 15 minutes behind that accident. Thankfully I was running behind on Wednesday,” said Facebook commenter Jay Nordick.
“The highway is narrow, hilly, dark, and boring because that 39-mile stretch from the junction to Saskatoon is poker straight. I hate it.”
Commenter Frank Ponsak said the stretch is too narrow for modern-day traffic volumes – especially heavy trucks.
“Add some snow cover and you can’t tell where the centre line is,” he added.