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PHOTOS: Trailer likely saved Alberta man’s life in eight-vehicle highway crash

Collision on Highway 11 tied up traffic for hours

A 28-foot holiday trailer probably saved Carman Wilson’s life.

The Sylvan Lake man was heading eastbound in his pickup and pulling the trailer on Highway 11 around 7:30 a.m. on Sept. 25 when he came across a collision between a moose and another vehicle driven by a woman.

“The lady had hit a moose about half a mile ahead of me and probably close to a half an hour earlier,” he said.

Police were already on scene and directing traffic into a single lane on the highway east of Red Deer near Alberta Springs Golf Course and traffic was backing up.

“I was stopped, not even five seconds. Then I heard squealing behind me. Probably about 50,000 pounds of truck and trailer and equipment hit me at about 100 kilometres per hour.”

A one-ton diesel pickup pulling a flatbed trailer with a large piece of equipment had come barrelling down the highway and couldn’t stop in time. It side-swiped a number of vehicles before slamming into Wilson.

The impact caved in the trailer, slamming it into his pickup propelling both 50 to 60 metres down the highway.

Wilson, who is married with three young children under four years old, knows how close he and the other driver came to being killed or seriously injured, if not for the trailer acting as a buffer between the two vehicles.

“He would definitely be dead. I probably wouldn’t be talking to you right now.

“It makes me emotional thinking about it,” he said. “I’m lucky to be alive.”

His wife, Kacy Wilson, is also grateful that her husband to be taking the trailer to Red Deer for maintenance.

“We are so lucky that that trailer was on his truck because I think both would be dead, my husband and the driver that hit him.”

RCMP said eight vehicles in all were involved in the chain-reaction pile-up. Remarkably, only minor injuries were reported among those involved.

Carman Wilson said his back is very sore and by late afternoon walking was difficult so was going to get checked out at a medical clinic.

Wilson said he was told that one of other vehicles hit had been launched end over end. The driver was taken to hospital by ambulance.

Traffic was detoured for several hours while the scene was cleared. Drivers reported a long line of vehicles bumper-to-bumper on Hwy 11A.

RCMP said the collision is still under investigation and no charges have been laid.

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