Roads were extremely icy at the time
WESTCHESTER – Horrendous road conditions were a factor in a collision early Monday evening that claimed the life of a six-year-old girl.
Jaime Baillie, Cumberland South MLA and PC leader, wants the province to review the level of snow clearing operations on the Cobequid Pass. This comes after two incidents where the highway was closed during snow events.
“Pathetic is the best was to describe them,” Sgt. Allan Carroll of the Cumberland RCMP said. “It was hard to walk and the sleet was hitting you like needles in the face. It was a terrible night.”
The collision involving a tractor trailer and a van towing a utility trailer occurred at about 6:15 p.m. in the eastbound lane of Highway 104 approximately 18 kilometres west of the Cobequid Pass toll plaza.
Carroll said conditions began to worsen considerably as vehicles made the climb to the pass from Oxford and deteriorated very rapidly. He said there was poor visibility combined with blowing snow, rain and sleet.
“It was extremely icy,” Carroll said.
The eastbound lanes of the highway were closed for several hours while an RCMP traffic analyst investigated the crash.
It was after midnight before the highway re-opened.
Traffic was rerouted through the Wentworth Valley on Highway 4 via Exit 7.
Carroll said three others in the van were taken to Colchester Regional Hospital in Truro for treatment and released.
The identification of the child is not being released pending notification of next of kin, but Carroll said the van was from outside the Maritimes.
The driver of the truck was not injured.
Cumberland County RCMP, Westchester Fire Department, Emergency Health Services and Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal responded the collision.
The cause of the collision is under investigation, and a traffic analyst has been called to assist with the investigation.