Stuck in a blizzard for 15 hours, and other tales from the road

Heart attack patient stranded on highway for 90 minutes after ambulance crashed into snowbank

The warm, breezy days of yester-month are but a distant memory and bitter reminder for the people of Saskatchewan as they give into the cold embrace of March.

Gusting winds and blowing snow have shut down highways in Manitoba and southern Saskatchewan. Commuters are stranded, either waiting in their vehicles or renting hotel rooms until it blows over.

In the case of Jackson Creighton, a routine trip that should have only taken a few hours was dragged out for more than a day. 

Creighton, who lives in Moosomin, Sask., made a trip to nearby Brandon, Man., with his girlfriend and a friend.

There was just some fog on the drive there, giving him hope the trek home could be made. When they were ready to commute back to Saskatchewan, though, the blizzard was in full force. 

"At least we were thinking a little bit ahead," he recalled. "We filled up with gas and we had actually bought some groceries before we headed out, so we had food and water and lots of gas for the night."

Creighton said he was a little stubborn and thought he could wait out the blizzard.

He thought wrong. 

He drove about 20 kilometres outside of Brandon when they stopped behind some semi-trucks. Creighton estimates the group sat there, on the road, for about 15 hours. 

Estevan, Sask., Mayor Roy Ludwig warned people not to be out on the roads unless it was absolutely necessary.

"I came in last night and it was brutal, brutal on the highway," Ludwig said.

In Saskatoon, trucker Art Bueckert said keeping calm is key when it comes to poor road conditions.

"Don't be in a hurry. You can't have no road rage or rush," he said. 

Highway 1 to east to Balgonie, Sask., and west to Belle Plaine, Sask., from Regina were closed Tuesday afternoon due to poor weather.