UPDATE: Cranbrook mourns firefighter

Tractor trailer and pickup truck with horse trailer collided head on

The City of Cranbrook has issued a statement identifying one of two men who died in a car accident on Saturday near Yahk.

”It is with profound sadness, that we announce the sudden passing of Captain Clayton Murrell of Cranbrook Fire & Emergency Services following a vehicle accident early Saturday morning,” reads the statement.

“Clayton’s partner Joan MacKinnon, our Aquatics Supervisor with Community Services at Western Financial Place was also in the accident and was airlifted to Kelowna for treatment of her injuries.

“Clayton will be remembered for his kindness, as being a gentle soul and for his professionalism.

The entire City of Cranbrook family wishes to express our deepest condolences to the families, friends and colleagues during this difficult time.”

Late Saturday afternoon, police had identified a 51-year-old Cranbrook man and a 59-year-old Edmonton man as the two killed during a collision on Hwy. 3/95 Saturday morning.

The accident occurred around 9 a.m. near Irishmen Creek in Moyie, about 45 minutes west of Cranbrook, with police noting that road conditions were a factor.

The Edmonton man was headed westbound and driving a tractor trailer when he lost control on black ice, jack knifed and drove into the oncoming lane, hitting the eastbound pickup truck, which was towing a horse trailer, head on.

Both men died at the scene and a female passenger in the pickup truck was taken to hospital.

The two horses in the trailer were also killed.

RCMP said that the Edmonton driver’s lack of seatbelt and driving too quickly for the icy roads contributed to the collision.

Paramedics were on the scene with four ground ambulances and one air ambulance.

Police said the passenger in the pick-up was in critical condition in the East Kootenay Regional Hospital in Cranbrook.

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