'It's very, very dangerous right now': Drivers asked to avoid Hwy 1 after multi-vehicle crash

Drivers are being warned to avoid Highway 1 near Pense, Sask. after a multi-vehicle collision Tuesday afternoon.

Police said information about the crash was limited at this time but Cathy Ripplinger from the Rural Municipality of Pense says the road is dangerous and should be avoided.  

A blizzard warning has been issued for the area, along with a large chunk of southeast Saskatchewan.

"If you're thinking about going down the number one, don't," said Ripplinger.

"It's very, very dangerous right now."

Ripplinger, who lives in Regina, said a fire chief from the RM volunteer fire department had called and warned her not to drive home.

He was at the scene of the crash and told Ripplinger he could not see across the highway.

She said he was too busy to provide more information.

Ripplinger had already attempted to leave work at about 4 p.m. CST but turned back before she reached the highway.  

She plans to stay in Pense overnight, saying "it's not worth your life" to drive in blizzard conditions.

Raylene Eberl spoke to CBC from the highway east of Pense. 

Eberl said she was travelling into the town when she saw an ambulance leaving Pense. She kept driving and hit a whiteout a kilometre later, she said.

"I didn't know what was going on," she recalled. 

Eberl said there are three lanes of traffic backed up, with some vehicles attempting to drive around through the ditch. 

White Butte RCMP is also urging motorists to avoid Highway 1, saying drivers who must be on the road should expect delays.

It said people should monitor the Saskatchewan highway hotline for more information.