The commute home for people travelling beyond the city limits turned treacherous for the afternoon rush hour with collisions in virtually every direction just beyond Winnipeg.
A woman in her early 20s was airlifted to hospital by helicopter following a head-on collision Tuesday on Highway 59, about three kilometres north of St. Malo. The woman was the sole occupant of an SUV that collided with a semi-trailer.
Early investigation shows that a southbound SUV, for reasons that remain under investigation, crossed the centre line and collided head-on with a northbound semi-trailer hauling dirt.
The woman was extricated and flown to a Winnipeg hospital. Her condition is undetermined. The male driver of the semi-trailer was not injured.
Alcohol and road conditions are not considered contributing factors. While there were icy sections on some highways around Winnipeg, the road was dry at the collision site, RCMP said.
As many as a dozen vehicle collisions, including slides and rollovers into ditches, occurred in a short span of time. An eight-car pileup was being reported near Wilkes Avenue. There was also a collision in the vicinity of Henderson Highway and Highway 44.
The poor driving conditions are due to high winds, slippery roads and snow drifts on roads, said RCMP.
Areas of particular concern are the Perimeter Highway, Highway 59 south, Highway 75 and the Trans-Canada Highway heading west.
There are delays for emergency personnel to respond to highway collisions because there are so many, RCMP said.
Earlier Tuesday, a male driver was airlifted to a Winnipeg hospital following a collision between a car and SUV on the Trans-Canada Highway, a short distance east of Highway 12.
The crash occurred just after 12:30 p.m, when a westbound car turning south on Caledonia Road collided with an eastbound SUV on the Trans-Canada Highway.
The male driver of the car is listed in critical condition. A 45-year-old woman from Kenora, Ont., and her two children in the SUV were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries; they were treated and released.
Traffic was being detoured around the crash scene in the eastbound lane as of 4:30 p.m. An RCMP traffic analyst is on scene.
Alcohol is not considered a contributing factor in the collision.