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Manitobans reminded to be careful on highways as RCMP attend to dozens of crashes

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It was a busy weekend for RCMP officers as they were out dealing with a number of crashes on Manitoba highways, the majority related to icy conditions.

Sgt. Paul Manaigre, media relations officer with Manitoba RCMP, said between Friday morning and Monday morning there were almost 80 crashes on highways throughout the province.

Of those crashes, one was fatal. It happened Sunday morning on Highway 1, around eight kilometres east of Falcon Lake.

RCMP said a semi rolled in the ditch. The driver – a 54-year-old man – died at the scene while the 22-year-old passenger suffered minor injuries.

RCMP said the road was icy at the time of the crash.

Manaigre said while the weather has been nice throughout the province lately, it can wreck havoc on the roads.

“We had plus-seven, plus-eight (degrees) last week. It made for great conditions to be outside and walking around. But when those conditions started to drop and then that weather system came in, that moisture basically came down as rain. Late in the day, as the sun starts to set, that basically turned to freezing rain, (which) turned to snow, that slush then turns to ice,” said Manaigre.

He said the majority of the crashes could be attributed to people driving too fast, suddenly braking, or not paying attention to the conditions.

“The factors, the indicators are all there as to how you should be driving. If you see it is slushy and icy, you should be slowing down.”

He noted the 80 crashes were slightly above average for a weekend, but it wasn’t something RCMP weren’t prepared for.

With another stretch of nice weather ahead, Manaigre is once again reminding people to be prepared for the driving conditions and slow down.

He also took the time to remind Manitobans to not drink and drive during the holiday party season and to always find a safe way home.

“Let’s just keep everybody safe,” he said. “We just have to urge everyone to just use caution. You’re going to have some fun, attend some parties. Just make alternative arrangements to get home.”

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