RCMP say a 2006 Chevy pickup was headed southbound in the northbound lane of Hwy. 22 just south of Cochrane around 6:10 p.m. Thursday when it forced two other vehicles off the road, one rolling three times in the ditch.

The 23-year-old woman in the rolled vehicle suffered only minor injuries but moments later, the pickup collided head-on with a Subaru Impreza driven by Cochrane teen Brandon Thomas.

Firefighters cut the teen loose from his crumpled vehicle and STARS air ambulance was summoned, but Thomas died at the scene.

The 22-year-old man who was allegedly operating the pickup wasn’t injured but faces six criminal offences, including impaired driving and causing death while driving over .08, said Sgt. Audrey Robinson of Cochrane RCMP.

“All we can do is implore people not to drink and’s a tragic example this close to Christmas,” said Robinson.

There could easily have been more fatalities, she said, if the drivers of the other two vehicles side-swiped by the alleged drunk motorist hadn’t taken effective evasive action.

Traffic on the highway was busy with commuters at the time, say RCMP.

Thomas’ close friend Mackenzie Tivendale listened with disgust to RCMP’s details of the tragedy.

“I believe in karma — what comes around goes around,” he said.

Friends say Thomas, a Grade 11 student at Cochrane high school where flags were at half mast Friday, was on his way home from an auto maintenance-type work apprentice job in Calgary when he was killed.

That work was his passion, said Cochrane high school principal Susan Poole.

“He knew exactly what he was going to do and where he was going, to be a mechanic,” she said, adding tears were flowing at the school Friday.

“He was a young man in a great rhythm of success in life...not everyone in Grade 11 knows where they’re going.”

A memorial card was making the rounds at the school, where grief counsellors were busy consoling those most affected, said Poole.

Tivendale said he and other friends were going to scrawl tributes to Thomas with paint pencils on Cochrane business that permit it.

“He was everybody’s friend, he pushed people to do better in their lives and he was always there to support you,” he said.

“If he made a mistake, he’d be the first person to apologize and make it up.”

Ryan Jordan Gibson, 22, is charged in the collision, which also includes offences such as dangerous driving and impaired driving causing bodily harm.

He was released from custody soon after the crash and is to appear in Cochrane provincial court Dec. 18.


Scene of a collision that occurred on December 6, 2012, that left one person dead on Highway 22 about 8 km south of Cochrane, Alberta


Source: Calgary Sun



Last updated on: 2013-01-16 | Link to this post