Four teenagers are dead and another is seriously injured following a crash with a semi-truck on a highway near Gilbert Plains, Manitoba RCMP say.
Police say they received numerous calls about the crash near the corner of Highway 5 and Provincial Road 274 around 10:50 p.m. Wednesday.
An investigation still in its early stages has found five teens were in a car heading north on PR 274 that drove through a stop sign and hit the trailer portion of a semi heading east on Highway 5, RCMP spokesperson Tara Seel said Thursday.
“I think this collision is going to have very, very far reaching impacts throughout western Manitoba as well as throughout the entire province,” Seel told 680 CJOB.
“Our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who lost a loved one in this tragic collision.”
Two 17-year-old male passengers and the 18-year-old male driver, all from the Dauphin area, died at the scene, Seel said.
An 18-year-old woman from Carberry was rushed to hospital where she later died.
A 15-year-old girl from the Rural Municipality of Dauphin was also rushed to hospital with serious injuries, where Seel said she remains Thursday.
4 teens dead after collision on #MBHwy5 & PR274 last night near Gilbert Plains. Their car failed to stop at a stop sign and struck the trailer portion of a semi-trailer. Two 17yo males, 18yo male, & 18yo female deceased. 15yo female in hospital. #rcmpmb pic.twitter.com/paE2fEMY1A
— RCMP Manitoba (@rcmpmb) March 30, 2023
“Four young people, gone in an instant. I don’t think tragic even begins to explain what happened,” Seel said
“I can only imagine, you know, what this sudden and huge loss would mean for the community.”
‘A horrible scene to come upon’
James Manchur, reeve of Gilbert Plains, said the fatal crash will have an impact in the community and the tightly-knit surrounding area.
“You may not know the individuals themselves, but you certainly know the parents or or relatives of the victims,” Manchur told 680 CJOB’s The NEWS.
“It was really shocking to wake up to. And I think the whole community felt the same this morning.”
Manchur notes many of the first-responders who arrived at the scene Wednesday night are volunteers.
“It would have been a tragic and just a horrible scene to come upon,” he said.
The Mountain View School Division opened Gilbert Plains Collegiate Institute Thursday and Friday for community members to gather and access support.
A post on the division’s website said the school will be open from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday and from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Friday with critical response members from both the division and the community present.
Mountain View School Division superintendent Stephen Jaddock said two of the teens killed in the crash were students at Gilbert Plains Collegiate Institute while a third went to Dauphin Regional Comprehensive Secondary School in Dauphin.
The fourth victim went to a Beautiful Plains School Division school in Carberry, he said.
Jaddock said the division’s critical response team is looking at providing ongoing support for when students return from spring break on Monday.
“Certainly we want to make sure that we have counselors on hand to be able to meet with students and meet with family and community members as necessary,” he said.
Police say the driver of the semi involved in the crash, a 30-year-old man from Saskatoon, was not physically injured in the crash.
Local police continue to investigate with help from an RCMP forensic collision reconstructionist.
Gilbert Plains is about 314 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg.
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