UPDATE - Serious accident on Charlottetown's bypass highway

Nigel Armstrong
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Accident scene at the traffic lights of Southgate and the Charlottetown perimeter highway about 4:30 today.

A dramatic accident on the Charlottetown bypass highway Monday has sent both drivers to hospital.

The accident occurred close to 4:30 p.m. at the intersection with Southgate Avenue at the entrance to Hillsborough park. The intersection is controlled by a traffic light.

It appears a delivery truck and a small, black Toyota car were involved. The small car appeared to have been hit from behind at the intersection as it faced west towards St. Peter's Road.'

The cube-van delivery truck ended up plowing through snow and up to the top of a berm that lines the north side of the highway.

Charlottetown Police Services said late Monday that the drivers of each vehicle were taken to hospital and remain there. The extent of their injuries is not yet being released.

A comment on The Guardian web site Monday says the driver of the cube van may have suffered some medical event seconds before the accident. Charlottetown Police say they are not releasing details but that is one possibility being investigated.

Charlottetown Fire Service was at the scene, using extrication equipment to remove the occupants of the car.

Island EMS had multiple ambulances attending to transport patients to the nearby QEH.

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Southgate Avenue, Hillsborough

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Recent comments

  • mags
    January 31, 2013 - 22:52

    To "islander", if what is said is true and the driver lost consciousness , I hope that you never have to endure the pain that the families are feeling right now due to your comment about someone always being at fault and obeying rules and paying attention. I am sure that the driver had no intention of going out that day and losing consciousness behind the wheel of his truck. Have some compassion for the families before you post comments like that. To all others that say that there shouldn't be lights....how do you propose that anyone living in the development cross the bypass to get to the other side of it? Maybe we should all move to make it easier for all of the traffic to flow properly or go around and try to turn left onto St. Peters where there is no light.....just wondering

  • Bypass truck driver
    January 08, 2013 - 10:25

    There is too much stopping on this bypass there should be overpasses at every intersection with merging traffic like every other province in Canada get off your a$$"s and design a better bypass and safer for the traveling public I drive truck on that road and have had a lot of near misses with cars pulling onto the bypass so put overpasses in place at st peters rd bracket pt mt Edward sears and this will save lives so safety should be top priority here getter done

  • voter
    January 08, 2013 - 09:02

    please accept my condolences for any injuries you or your family may have received in this accident this is also an appropriate time for people who are reading these comments to notice how many drivers mistakenly look on the left lane of a bypass road as a passing lane --THAT IS NOT ITS PURPOSE -- nor is there a FAST lane and a SLOW lane on such bypasses -- if drivers could understand this ,maybe there would be fewer collisions these are simply two lanes or more with the same speed limit available to drivers to get to their destination in a SAFE manner --unsafe driving is the only thing that makes the bypass dangerous and not knowing the drivers' handbook rules of the road (yes some of these drivers make up their own rules without ever having read the official rules of the road and then get all upset and hot and bothered etc when others don't follow their home made false rules !!

    • he's right
      January 08, 2013 - 10:15

      It's kind of shocking to realize how many people actually think that the left lane is a passing lane. The DOT didn't decide not to put up the slower traffic keep right sign because they figured everyone was smart enough to know that on their own. The signs aren't there because they just don't apply in this stretch of road. If there were off ramps and no left turn lanes you may have an argument. It's not the divided highway between Truro and Halifax so stop trying to treat it as such.

    • Townie
      January 08, 2013 - 12:37

      As far as vehicles turning left, they are to stay right until they are close to their turn, signal their intent and then change lanes when safe. Not for traveling in the left lane from the hospital to sears at 40km/h. You may want to double check those rules yourself.

    • voter
      January 08, 2013 - 13:24

      townie --i would not have written what i did unless i had the book in front of me - if someone is going 40 in a left lane they are doing nothing illegal and you may change lanes whenever you encounter these situations -- if it is too busy for you to make a lane change then that would explain why the person in front of you also has not change lanes -- you are totally wrong on your comment and i hope you change your home made rules to the provincial legal ones

    • steve
      January 08, 2013 - 14:05

      So what is the actual rule? I always thought it was safer to pick your lane early instead of cutting across 2 lanes at the last possible opportunity. If you drive 40 you should stay off that road anyway. If anyone knows the actual rule. Please share.

    • Townie
      January 08, 2013 - 14:31

      When driving on the right: 1) The lane designated for faster traffic is on the left. 2) The lane designated for slower traffic is on the right. 3) Most freeway exits are on the right. 4) Overtaking is permitted to the left, and sometimes to the right.

    • Townie
      January 08, 2013 - 14:38

      HighWay Traffic Act of PEI http://www.gov.pe.ca/law/statutes/pdf/h-05.pdf Page 71*************" (3) The driver of a vehicle that is proceeding at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the condition then existing shall drive in the right hand lane then available for traffic or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left hand turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway."*************** Please take close note of "speed of traffic" as opposed to posted speed limit and "preparing for a left hand turn"

    • he's right
      January 08, 2013 - 17:38

      Not one sign on the bypass says keep right except to pass. Go to the DOT and they will say the same thing as us. How in any way is it safer to cut across two lanes of traffic to make a left turn then to plan ahead and already be in that lane? It's absurd

    • Townie
      January 08, 2013 - 19:59

      The paragraph above is directly from the PEI Highway Traffic Act. You don't need a sign to say slower traffic keep right because it is automatically implied on a two lane (four or more total in both directions) road. I don't have to go to DOT when I'm reading the LAW. And you never cross two lanes of traffic at once, that is also illegal. At the appropriate distance for the traffic you properly and safely merge to the center lane, stay in that lane for a few seconds then begin the merge process again (signal intend, wait for a clear spot and move safely to next lane). This doesn't take more than 500 meters to do properly.

    • he's right
      January 08, 2013 - 21:10

      Whatever. Have fun stopping completely and cutting people off in rush hour. Don't expect me to stop and let you in

  • Almighty Mediator
    January 08, 2013 - 08:47

    Is that all you islanders can do? hate on each other and point fingers? Nothing Gentle about you folks. A shame to the province you represent.

  • Me
    January 08, 2013 - 08:26

    There is nothing wrong with the by-pass that patients and safe driving wouldn't solve. I have lived in several provinces, big & small cities & towns and nowhere else do they believe that they own the road like Islanders do. It's like you all still believe your driving a horse and buggy around town. Stop signs here are rolled through on a regular bases and not too many of you know how to merge. I actually won't drive on this island, you all scare me. That being said, yesterday's accident on the By-pass was because of a medical emergency, not bad roads or bad drivers so stop bitching for the sake of bitching!!!!!

  • Alyssa
    January 08, 2013 - 07:12

    I really don't see how more lights would have help in this situation because it happened at 430 and it was still light outside.

  • Marie
    January 08, 2013 - 07:00

    Prayers to those involved. An accident is just that. Speculation, without fact, is gossip!!! The Dept of Highways and the police take complaints for poor driving conditions or habits.

  • Broke
    January 08, 2013 - 05:47

    Praying for all involved. Hoping all are back to good health soon.

  • Brandon
    January 08, 2013 - 01:44

    I think people always take these articles way too far with the comments. It was an accident people. Accidents happen all the time. This isn't an online blog to talk about stupid drivers and street lights. The by-pass is not a death trap either, it's a simple and small highway that doesn't even stretch out to be that far. I would also like to add that it is NOT a "keep right except to pass" highway. It has lanes to turn left, go straight, and turn right.

    • keep right
      January 08, 2013 - 13:03

      Brandon - did you go to Drivers Ed? If you are travelling on a road or highway, you keep right except to pass. This is so faster traffic can pass in the pass lane. If you are heading out of town from the Hospital, you can not turn left until you get to St Peters Rd. Pay attention to street signs. Hoping for the best for everyone involved in this horrific incident.

    • Brandon
      January 08, 2013 - 13:35

      Again I will say. The bypass is not a "Keep right except to pass" there is not one sign that says that. Plus, why would I stay right if I have to go Left? Look at the Deer Foot in Alberta. Imagine if that 4 lane Highway was a "keep right except to pass". Get your guys' facts straight.

    • Townie
      January 08, 2013 - 16:52

      Brandon, please see my post above that shows the exact portion of the highway traffic act that says all traffic keeps right on two lanes except for passing or preparing to turn left.

  • GGreen
    January 08, 2013 - 01:33

    Our bypass road's biggest death trap is the amount of traffic lights on it. Not speed.

  • David
    January 08, 2013 - 01:00

    It is By-pass Highway which means it is designed to move traffic faster and better than the city streets. By-Passes in almost every other city the traffic moves just as fast if not faster. If you don;t like the speed on on than stay off it. You are not forced tod rive on it..there are countless shorter ways to get around the city than the By-Pass. The slow drivers should stay off it as thety just cause traffic jams and cause other people to do stupid things to get around them. What amazes me since coming to PEI is this attitude that people should drive slow just because someone else thinks they should. People should worry about how they drive themselves and stopp looking around and focus on their own driving. But it is a perimeter highway around the city and speeds will be greater than on inner city streets.

  • Vinnie Mickey Mac
    January 08, 2013 - 00:33

    Gerard, first off, coming out here and spewing your opinions isn't necessary, the article here was about a tragic accident, one that looks to have been caused by a medical emergency, not about speeding or drinking; so get your facts straight before you jump up on your soap box and preach your sermon. Also, using capital letters to emphasis words doesn't improve your argument. Secondly, I saw the accident scene tonight and it was devastating, and I can only hope and pray that all people involved recover from this. God bless them.

  • Charlottetown Resident
    January 08, 2013 - 00:10

    Accidents happen everywhere not just here, so please forget about all the talk about reconstruction BS and please pray for the victims as well as their familes for full recovery. All we can do is pray, and drive safely in the future.

    • Clay Davis
      January 08, 2013 - 20:04

      Because prayer has fixed so many things before.....

  • Dev
    January 07, 2013 - 22:45

    I am disgusted with every single comment on here, besides Nancy's. I am truley sorry to hear about your sibling. But really, you all are disgusting. This isnt the place or time for your input on how dangerous the bypass is. Funny thing is, its not dangerous at all. Go drive in a diffferent province and than come back and let us now what you think. Just learn to drive and basically, shut your mouth with the comments on here. The ACCIDENT was clearly a ACCIDENT. It states right in the article the driver of the cube van lost conciousness. Sorry to all family & friends of all involved in this ACCIDENT. Your all in my thoughts and prayers, and please, dis regard all these disgusting, inconsiderate people. Cheers

    • islander
      January 08, 2013 - 07:50

      They teach you in drivers ed there is no such thing as an "accident". Somone is always at fault. Even insurance companies refer to them as collisions not accidents. Most "accidents" could have been prevented if everyone was obeying the rules and paying attention.

  • Mary
    January 07, 2013 - 22:24

    Hope everyone is well. More positive people would make things better than all the negative people in the world.

  • city resident
    January 07, 2013 - 21:41

    If I want to from the bridge out to North River , you are better of to go thru the city than to drive around the bypass with all the lights !!!!!!!!!

  • Nancy
    January 07, 2013 - 21:18

    Well it is great that people have open public columns to voice their opinions about tradgic moments and hopefully feel better that they have spoken out. The only thing I wish was different was that people thought and spoke more positive when public things happen. I usually do not speak out on things that are so negative but, well I just had too. If more people focused on positive talk instead of blame and shame it would make a difference. I'm just glad I think differently because I couldn't imagine going through life wanting to blame someone for everything that goes bad. No matter where you live or drive there is danger every where. Know your facts and try to live a life more positively. Thoughts and prayers go a lot further then all this jabber. .....,,. From a sis of a loved one involved in tonight's accident.

  • Sonya Blade
    January 07, 2013 - 20:56

    A major problem with this island is that it is filled with people who make idiots look smart.

    • Nancy
      January 07, 2013 - 22:27

      You must not know the right people or have the right friends on pei. I know A LOT of wonderful people. Nothing like you just describe.

    • Marie
      January 08, 2013 - 06:46

      I just read a comment from "one of the people who make idiots look smart" LOL

  • carl
    January 07, 2013 - 20:54

    I was cut off, given the finger, and honked at (which scared the hell out of my kid) for driving 60 in a 50 zone on Mt Edward road. If the guy driving the 97' Jeep Cherokee reads this leave 5 minutes earlier next time instead making an ass of yourself.

  • Sherri
    January 07, 2013 - 20:49

    I turn left from St. Peter's road onto the bypass on a daily basis and almost everyday as I turn into the proper left hand lane when I go to move over to the right SLOW lane where one should be driving except to pass, if I have not checked my rearview and sideview mirrors I would have hit more than a dozen IDIOTS who seem to want to pass me as soon as we both just get around the corner after the light turned green. Since I am in front, don't you think the safer best is to WAIT and see if I move over to the other lane - I mean give me a car length or two and time to straighten out my own car from the turn before you pass! Driver's on PEI need more ticketing! Perhaps cameras at intersections and tickets showing up in the mail would help these idiots think before they make such stupid moves on the road. Better ligthing would be great but it IS the driver's following too close and/speeding on icy roads just after fresh snow falls that cause these accidents. Five car lengths to stop at a speed of 80KM in time to miss the car ahead and that's in normal conditions folks!

    • john
      January 08, 2013 - 03:32

      If you plan on switching lanes right after the turn everyday why are do you go into the left lane. I know why because the line of cars is shorter. Then you expect evertone to get out of your way when the light turns green. Typical islander move.

  • Anthony Adams
    Anthony Adams
    January 07, 2013 - 20:46

    As we are into the transition period of driving on dry pavement and now very slippery conditions, it is IMPORTANT TO SLOW DOWN! I hope everyone is okay?

  • Sherri
    January 07, 2013 - 20:42

    Idiots are what some drivers are! Tonight I saw the accident on my way to QEH and figured it would be cleaned up 2.5 hours later. As I noted two police cars with lights flashing as I headed home - towards St. Peters Rd - blocking almost the entire to lanes with lights flashing I stopped. An officer told me another driver just whizzed right by them and wait till it was safe and pull a u-turn as they were investigating the accident WHEN ALL OF A SUDDEN another IDIOT driver tried to pass my car on the left - as the officer stood out, yelled at them with his flashlight waving in shear anger - walked to the car, told the person what a atupid move that was and to pull off to side of the rode, obviously very angry!@ What an idiot driver and if you are reading this - like really, with two cars with flashing ilghts you try to pass in wrong lanes on highway! WQW - you either went to jail or I bet got a big fine or some bawling out! What an idiot. You could have caused yet another accident or if you could not have stopped pushed me into the officer.

  • chad
    January 07, 2013 - 20:33

    how many lights do you need at 4:30 pm? Just wondering? Sorry for all involved.

  • fedup
    January 07, 2013 - 20:12

    The bypass should be renamed the race to or through the amber lights. It's hardly a bypass when your waiting at 7 lights due to just bad timing. I hope both drivers are okay. Start by taking serious forward thinking action and put goveners on all vehicles liscened on PEI to 120km /hr. Hand out real sentences and $1000 fines for speeding minimum. Why does that sound crazy, I think the thought of a child or someone's everything being takn away cause humans are entrusted to respect"rules of the road" while barrelling down the highway in something that weighs a ton....and of metal.

  • Flo
    January 07, 2013 - 19:47

    Its time there was some salt put on the roads on pei .very dangerous this year!!!i hope all the people in the accident are doing ok.

  • marie
    January 07, 2013 - 19:16

    people should wait til all the facts are in befor commenting

  • Charlie
    January 07, 2013 - 19:12

    Was it necessary to post that photo? Does it occur to the Guardian that everyone who has a loved one who drives a 'small, black Toyota car' will be freaking out right now? Do you care? Journalistic integrity is sorely lacking in this province.

    • L
      January 07, 2013 - 20:25

      I couldn't agree more. Too many times you see accident pictures posted and there is never any need for it at all.

  • PEI Career Driver
    January 07, 2013 - 19:06

    The name of that highway should be changed to Charlottetown Bypass Street. Way, way too many intersections with traffic lights. All of the intersections should be ramped with off and on ramps and the main part of the bypass......ooops.....street should be traffic light-free and 80 kmh. The daily pokey old-fogies and high speed lovers should be prohibited from there.

    • David
      January 07, 2013 - 20:55

      In the summer all you hear are screaming motorcycles and I mean screaming flat out, obviously going very fast and you can tell just by the sound they are going by really fast. It's day after day night after night without anything being done even after numerous complaints. "Did you get the license number and a description of the driver?" Uhh he was going 120km/h and wearing a helmet.

  • Chelsea
    January 07, 2013 - 19:04

    I hope everyone is ok. Thinking about everyone involved. I don't know what caused this accident but while we are on topic of that highway, I beg everyone reading this to stop rushing and speeding for that yellow light. So many times I see people go through red lights thinking the yellow light means "hurry up". If you see the yellow light, slow down if you can unless it is too late to do so. Not worth it. Thinking about those involved in this accident and hoping for the best.

  • Robert Judson
    January 07, 2013 - 19:00

    It is called a bypass but is far from it! The liberal government should have put the plan B money into improving the bypass by eliminating some of the busiest intersections with overpasses! This would work at the busy Sears intersection quite well! Round abots are good but there comes a point when there are too many of them!

    • Matt
      January 07, 2013 - 19:53

      @Robert Judson You're a little quick to blame the provincial government for this tragic accident.

    • mra
      January 08, 2013 - 07:57

      you either have a bypass or a city street,you can't have both, until the close all the intersecting streets you will have a city street.

  • Cindy
    January 07, 2013 - 19:00

    I have almost been hit three times turning left there by west bound vehicles speeding through RED LIGHTS. People have to stop speeding and obey traffic safety rules, plain and simple.

  • Amoeba
    January 07, 2013 - 18:50

    Apparently speed had nothing to do with this accident. I heard the driver of the truck temporarily lost consciousness and the passenger tried to stop/maneuver the truck off the road but hit one car on the way.

  • keep right
    January 07, 2013 - 18:48

    People do not know how to drive. I would be willing to say that Sam, you drive on the left lane, am I right? I travel that road quite frequently, and every single person feels the need to drive in the left lane when every single road sign in PEI states "KEEP RIGHT EXCEPT TO PASS" I also agree that people also are driving too fast through that area. This time of year is not the best time to be speeding either. Carelessness and plain stupidity to be driving faster than road conditions allow for.

    • john
      January 07, 2013 - 20:48

      Unfortunately sometimes people have to turn left. So you either weave across a lane at the last second or you pick the lane you will inevitably be using and drive the speed limit.

    • sam
      January 07, 2013 - 20:48

      Keep right! I am fully aware of the rules of the road, and do keep right, but! Thank you for trying to educate me on safe driving!

    • Dave
      January 07, 2013 - 20:59

      Keep right except to pass if the roads were built correctly, most places the left lane ends but here on PEI the right lane ends. It's no wonder people have been conditioned to drive in the left lane.

    • Darren Callaghan
      January 07, 2013 - 21:20

      I didn't realize the left lane on the bypass was a passing lane. You just saved 7 seconds off my drive. As long as I can race the lights.

  • SmallTownGirl
    January 07, 2013 - 18:46

    I think people like Gerard need to get a clue and atleast have some compassion for the people involved in this accident.. and that's what it is "an accident"!! There was no mention of speed and alcohol being factors in this so stop pointing fingers. Sitting behind your computer and complaining is not doing anyone any favors. Didn't you ever hear the saying "If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all!"??

  • Fearful
    January 07, 2013 - 18:26

    I've stopped using the bypass for these reasons. I would rather take a longer route and avoid death or injury as a result of someone else's tardiness, especially with 2 little passagers in my back seats. We avoid it in an attempt to minimize our risk.

  • The Boz
    January 07, 2013 - 18:11

    Actually the problem with that bypass is all the stop lights. You hit one red, you're gonna hit all red along the way. Making people rush to beat the next light.

  • Joe Citizen
    January 07, 2013 - 18:02

    Gerard,.I really don't believe things are as bad as you say.

  • sam
    January 07, 2013 - 17:58

    I agree, its a death trap. I travel it every day and you want to see road rage, I travel the posted speed limit, but all I have to do is look in my mirror to see road rage, they can't wait to pass me. Funny, I never see a cop. If your in that much of a hurry to get to work, leave earlier people, I'm not dying for you.

    • Donna
      January 07, 2013 - 19:43

      I think that the major problem in this city, is that there lacks sufficient lighting on most of the roadways, especially the bypass. Driving at night is a nightmare on the bypass! With insufficient lighting and lines on the road that are fading away, it is only a matter of time before a fatality occurs. I would rather pay a little more for brighter lighting, than pay millions for the loss of a life!

  • Gerard
    January 07, 2013 - 16:59

    NOTHING will ever change on that By-pass road until the excessive speet is CURBED......... It's a DEATH TRAP.... Always was and always will be...... The City could probably pay off their Capital Dept. if there were more charges laid for speeding and drunk driving.