At least one person has died on Manitoba’s roads every May long weekend for the past six years. Manitoba RCMP officers hope that troubling trend ends in 2018.

Last year came close to being the exception, but on Monday night two vehicles collided on Highway 3 near Sperling and two people were killed. Seven others were injured that weekend. RCMP said all of those nine people were either killed or injured as a result of an impaired driver.

“You know what, buckle up, don’t drink and drive. It takes five minutes to arrange a ride, someone to come and pick you up. It’s not just you, it’s other people on the road as well,” said Const. Adam Reid of Minnedosa RCMP.

When Const. Reid goes out on patrol, he expects he may have to be called to a fatal crash. But he doesn’t expect to be in one.

Officer recalls fatal crash

On February 14, he and his partner were driving in their marked RCMP cruiser on Highway 10 south of Minnedosa. At the time, road conditions were beginning to deteriorate and become icy. As Reid headed south, the driver of a small SUV travelling in the opposite direction lost control, rolled, hit another car and struck the RCMP cruiser.

“I was able to react and hit the brakes. My story would’ve been a lot different if I hadn’t reacted when I did,” Reid.

Ahead of the May long weekend, Reid wants drivers to keep safety top of mind.

According to Manitoba Public Insurance, 28 people have died on Manitoba’s roads so far this year.

“That’s about double the same number we saw in the same period last year, so it’s really of concern, particularly as we go into the summer driving season,” said Ward Keith, vice-president of business development and communications with MPI.

It’s a statistic the insurer doesn’t want to see climb.

“Behind each of these numbers is an actual life lost. And an actual family left behind. And what’s really tragic about these losses is so many times these collisions didn’t have to happen,” Keith said.