Fiery head-on crash closes Alberta highway

A five-vehicle crash on Highway 63, south of Fort McMurray and near Mile Marker 173, Feb. 20, 2013....

A five-vehicle crash on Highway 63, south of Fort McMurray and near Mile Marker 173, Feb. 20, 2013. (Ryan Houlihan/Reader photo)

Allison Salz, Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:10 AM ET

Alberta’s deadliest highway claimed two more lives Wednesday after a fiery head-on crash in icy conditions.

Mounties say two transport trucks collided head on just after 8:55 a.m., on Highway 63, about 75 km south of Fort McMurray and near Mile Marker 173.

Ryan Houlihan was on his way to Fort McMurray early in the morning to begin his 10-day rotation with an oil company, when he spotted smoke billowing into the crisp winter sky.

“It is scary. The first thing I saw was this smoke, and then the flames,” he said.

“It appeared to have happened at a part of the south facing road where it splits into two, creating a passing lane.”

Houlihan said the conditions along most of the highway were good, which he added was a bit unusual, except for a one-kilometre chunk of the highway.

“It was blowing snow, reduced visibility, and really bad icy conditions,” he said.

Five other vehicles hit the ditch to avoid the wreck, but Mounties say no one else was injured.


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