Firm says trees obstructing vision at Humboldt Broncos crash intersection

Sixteen people died and 13 others were injured in the collision at an intersection north of Tisdale

A consulting firm says sight lines are a safety concern at the rural intersection where the deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash happened.

A 70-page safety review done for the Saskatchewan government says a stand of trees, mostly on private property, obstructs the view of drivers approaching from the south and east — the same directions the bus and semi-trailer were coming from when they collided.

Negotiating with the landowner to remove the trees is one of 13 recommendations included in the report.

Rumble strips, larger signs and painting ”Stop” and “Stop Ahead” on the road are some of the other suggestions.

Sixteen people died and 13 others were injured in the collision at an intersection north of Tisdale in April.

The bus was travelling north on Highway 35 and the semi was westbound on Highway 335.

Both roads have speed limits of 100 km/h. Highway 335 has a stop sign. Highway 35 does not.

READ MORE: Committee recommends how $15.2M in Humboldt Broncos donations should be divided

The RCMP have charged the truck’s driver, Jaskirat Sidhu, with 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death and 13 counts of dangerous driving causing bodily injury.

The review notes that because Sidhu’s charges are still before the court, RCMP investigators would not talk to consultants from McElhanney Consulting Services about the causes of the crash.

The report’s authors found six collisions at the intersection between 1990 and 2017 and another 14 on roads nearby.

One of those collisions was deadly. In 1997, six people were killed when a pickup truck heading east failed to stop on Highway 335 and was hit by a southbound tractor-trailer.

Those vehicles where heading in the opposite direction as the bus and truck in the Broncos crash. The review did not find another accident with vehicles travelling west and north.

“Although there have been two multiple fatality collisions at the intersection, the location does not have a high overall frequency of collisions, including high-severity collisions,” the review concludes.

“No significant collision trends were identified at the intersection. However, the geometric design review did identify some potential safety issues that could be mitigated to further reduce the collision risk at the intersection.”

The government cut down some of the trees in October, but most of them are on private property. There was also a private building within the sight lines of the corner but it has been moved since the crash.

“Removing the trees within the sight triangle in the southeast corner is desirable,” the report says.

“The recent removal of the building in the southeast corner means that only trees would need to be removed in order to achieve the sight triangle, which would be significantly less expensive, but would still require negotiation with the landowner.”

If the trees can’t be removed, additional warnings about the stop sign on Highway 335 are needed, the review says.

Rumble strips could be installed on both east and west approaches to the intersection, the report says, but the approaches would need to be re-paved to provide a deep enough surface.

It also says “Stop” and “Stop Ahead” could be painted on pavement for vehicles heading westbound. It suggests median stop signs would also be a possibility, but could pose a challenge for farm machinery.

The report doesn’t recommend a roundabout or a four-way stop.

It says Highway 335 is uncontrolled and motorists could become complacent and assume the highway is uncontrolled at all intersections.

“This factor, in combination with other issues, such as the tunnel vision discussed … and large lateral offset of signs, increases the risk that a motorist will overlook the stop control and fail to stop.”

Ryan McKenna, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Municipal climate caucus, founded in Nelson, meets for national online conference

The group consists of 294 mayors, councillors and regional directors from across the country

Nelson’s police chief retiring

Chief Paul Burkart has given notice for the spring of 2021

Slocan Valley Youth Centre starts teen summer reading challenge

Kids who read three different types of books by Aug. 31 will receive a special prize

Fresh local food for families goal of new West Kootenay EcoSociety program

Produce from three local organic farms will be delivered weekly to 54 low income families

LETTER: Park road only fit for a tank

From reader Sheila McCormack

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

B.C. announces multi-year plan to double treatment beds for youth with addiction

This will bring the total number of new beds specific to those 12 to 24 years old to 247 province-wide

B.C. man who nearly died from COVID-19 reflects on one-month battle

Robert Billyard was in an induced coma to ensure his body would not fight the ventilator to breathe

Wedding party bear sprayed at Okanagan campsite irks locals

Latest criminal activity at the Meadows leaves locals frustrated

Paramedics fired for allowing patient to crawl for treatment on Downtown Eastside: court documents

The man spent three days in intensive care and three months recovering in hospital from sepsis

Feds seeking private consultant to design firearm buyback program

The ban covers some 1,500 models and variants of what the government considers assault-style weapons

Face masks for teachers can impact learning on young children, experts say

Face coverings, mandatory in most indoor public places across the province, can help limit the spread of COVID-19

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Most Read