Incident believed to be road rage sends family, including 3 children, to hospital: RCMP

One of the children injured Saturday was flown to hospital.   (Submitted by STARS - image credit)
One of the children injured Saturday was flown to hospital. (Submitted by STARS - image credit)

RCMP say a reported road rage incident near Carstairs, Alta., sent a family of five to hospital Saturday afternoon.

In a media release, RCMP said around 4:10 p.m. Saturday, a southbound white truck overtook an SUV on Highway 2, near the Highway 581 overpass near Carstairs, Alta. RCMP say the truck then hit the brakes "aggressively" in front of the SUV.

The driver of the SUV attempted to avoid a collision and ended up rolling through the median ditch before coming to rest along the fence, RCMP said.

As a result of the SUV rolling, a child — who RCMP said was younger than five — was thrown from the vehicle and is in life threatening condition.

STARS Air Ambulance brought the child to hospital, according to RCMP.

The four other occupants, two children and two adults are also in serious condition and were taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital.

Two adults were taken to hospital in serious condition. Shane Paton, a spokesperson for Alberta EMS, said the two other children in the vehicle were also taken to hospital, but in stable condition.

Paton said a seven-year-old boy was taken to Big Country Hospital in Oyen, Alta., and a nine-month-old baby was taken to Alberta Children's Hospital in Calgary.

RCMP said the suspect vehicle did not stay on scene.

RCMP spokesperson Patrick Lambert said people's behaviour and actions while on the road can have "catastrophic" results.

'It does seem to be happening a lot' 

Katherin Beyak, a Calgary criminal defence lawyer with a practice focused on driving-related offences, said she's seen an increase in charges laid in connection with road rage incidents.

"It does seem to be happening a lot," said Beyak. "There's a lot of, or at least I've seen in my experience, some that spill into parking lot fight type of incidents or very serious traffic tickets."

The most common offences connected to road rage, said Beyak, are dangerous driving, uttering threats and weapons offences. Or, under the Traffic Safety Act, Beyak said she often sees police lay stunting charges.

Drivers who are involved in an accident, but don't stick around can also face charges for failing to remain at the scene, which RCMP said happened in this case.

"You are required in law to stop and to call for assistance and to provide your information and cooperate with the investigations so there are various charges and violations that can stem from that," said Beyak.

Anyone with information or dashcam footage is asked to contact their local police, Didsbury RCMP at 403-335-3382, or Crime Stoppers.