Swan River RCMP are investigating a single-vehicle crash that killed five people Saturday afternoon.
Mounties said it happened Sept. 30 around 5 p.m. when emergency crews responded to a report of rollover on Highway 83, approximately 19 kilometres south of Swan River near the Saskatchewan border.
Officers found an SUV with five occupants that had gone into the ditch and rolled into a field.
“When officers arrived on scene they discovered a SUV had basically entered the ditch, causing it to roll into a field,” said Sgt. Paul Manaigre, media relations officer with the RCMP.
Investigators believe the vehicle was travelling northbound when it went off the road, and that speed was a factor in the crash.
Manaigre said emergency responders are shaken due to the severity of the crash. “The loss of life is significant for a single-vehicle rollover.”
Two women, aged 42 and 26, and three men – aged 37, 36, and 25 – were all pronounced dead at the scene. Police say none of the five occupants were wearing seatbelts, and all were ejected from the vehicle.
Bill Gade, reeve of Swan Valley West, said he was notified about the crash around 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
“I think the first thought was ‘not again,’ we’ve been seeing news of this too much,” said Gade, referring to a fatal crash near Carberry, Man. in June that killed 17 seniors.
Gade said all five victims of Saturday’s crash were from Swan River. “Unfortunately all the people passed away, the news just gets worse and worse,” he said.
Manaigre said there have been 89 highway fatalities so far in Manitoba this year, including the Carberry crash. He said at this time last year, we only had 61.
“People need to pay attention and drive with care, he said.”
An RCMP forensic collision reconstructionist has been brought in to help with the investigation.
This is a developing story, more to come.