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Winnipeg, Elkhorn men killed in crash

RCMP have identified the drivers killed in a head-on crash Saturday on Highway 16 near Neepawa as a 77-year-old man from Winnipeg and a 65-year-old man from Elkhorn.

The crash occurred just before 1 p.m.

The Mounties also confirmed Monday a 50-year old female passenger was with the Elkhorn driver. Initial reports said the drivers were the sole occupants of the vehicles. The woman suffered minor injuries.

The RCMP did not release the names of the deceased or the surviving passenger.

RCMP said a preliminary investigation showed the driver of a 2007 Dodge Caravan from Winnipeg was headed west on Highway 16, while the driver from Elkhorn was heading east in a 2006 Chevrolet truck. He was taken by ambulance to hospital and subsequently died of his injuries.

The Winnipeg driver died at the crash scene.

The accident puzzled officials from the Rural Municipality of Langford. Neepawa Mayor Ken Waddell, along with Langford Reeve Kathy Jasienczyk, said with the road clear and visibility good, they both had questions about how the crash happened.

Neepawa RCMP, with the assistance of an RCMP traffic analyst, continue to investigate.


Brandon towing operator killed

Aàprominent Brandon businessman is dead following a vehicle incident near Sidney, Man.

President and owner of Accel Towing and Transport, Jason Schaffer, 39, died early Monday morning while attempting to assist a stranded motorist near the tiny community approximately 70 kilometres east of Brandon.

Shorty after 3 a.m., police arrived at the junction of the Trans-Canada Highway and Road 70 West.

Police said their initial investigation indicates Schaffer, who was working in the capacity of a tow-truck operator, died while helping a stranded motorist. Police have ordered an autopsy.

Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health have also been called in to assist the investigation.

In 2010, the Brandon Chamber of Commerce named Accel owners Angela Thomson and Schaffer the entrepreneurs of the year.


Travel ban lifted on flooded road

The province has lifted a travel alert on Highway 513, reopening the Interlake road Monday, a day after it had been closed due to flood waters.

The province had issued a travel alert Sunday warning drivers away from the highway that runs between Lake St. Martin and Lake Winnipeg, when a 250-metre stretch flooded with ice and water.

In a statement Monday, the province's highways department disputed local reports the ice jam was related to a backwash of frazil ice behind debris formed after an emergency channel was pushed through the Interlake region to relieve the 2011 flood.

"The province is not aware of any debris at the mouth of the Dauphin River at Lake Winnipeg or any indication the mouth is silted up from the emergency channel," the statement said. It attributed the ice jam to a natural buildup of ice, called frazil ice, on upstream section of the river with turbulent rapids. The resulting mixture of slush and ice crystals are normal before freeze-up and the phenomenon is common in many areas of the province, including Dauphin River at Lake Winnipeg, the statement said.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 10, 2013 B3

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