ROCKY VIEW— The Springbank Community is in shock after a fatal motor vehicle collision claimed the lives of two high school students and hospitalized another two occupants of the same vehicle on Thursday (July 15).
Cochrane RCMP responded to reports of the collision at approximately 12:30 a.m. on Range Road 32 between Township Roads 251a and 250. All four victims were either 16 or 17 years old, according to the media reports.
Cochrane RCMP is not releasing the identities of the four individuals at this time.
According to an RCMP press release related to the incident, responding members located two of the occupants deceased upon their arrival and the other two were transported to the Foothills Hospital with undetermined injuries.
Cpl. Troy Savinkoff with the Cochrane RCMP said of the two occupants who ended up in the hospital, one is awake and communicating, and the other remains unconscious in “serious but stable condition.”
Savinkoff said the initial reports came from a nearby resident who heard the crash, “made some observations” and then made the report to police.
He noted the cause of the accident has not yet been determined by investigators.
“An investigation such as this is fairly involved and it requires multiple steps. Realistically we won’t have any real determination for a month or maybe longer,” he said. “We had investigators continuing follow-up over the weekend and that’s continuing this week.”
Savinkoff said investigators are looking at mechanical issues with the vehicle, examining the scene and taking measurements to determine the details of the crash and interviewing potential witnesses.
On Friday (July 16) Springbank Community High School put out a statement regarding the crash, inviting members of the community to gather at the school to grieve together.
“Four Springbank Community High School students were involved in a car crash last night that claimed the lives of two of our students. The other two students remain in hospital at this time,” the statement said. “As a school community, our heart is broken by this tragic loss. We know that it is important for people to come together at such difficult times and so we are inviting students to come to the ... We don’t have anything formal planned, just an opportunity for students to come together and share their support and grief.”
Friends, families and community members have also visited Range Road 32 where a memorial with flowers has been growing over the last few days.
Savinkoff noted that these types of incidents are difficult to deal with for all involved, including the responding officers and medical personnel.
“RCMP officers, in our careers, we go to a lot of fatalities, we deal with a lot of horrible things, but there are always a few that stand out in a person’s career and I think these types of situations are so enormously tragic that they’re definitely ones that will stick out,” he said. “The families are obviously hugely affected, but then there are communities, schools and emergency responders that do go to these things that are affected too. We’re all human and it’s all about being together during these really tragic events.”
In the initial press release, the call was put out to the public to provide any input they might have regarding this case.
He said they have received a few responses so far, but urged anyone with any information that might help aid their investigation to reach out to the Cochrane RCMP at 403-851-8000. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com or by using the "P3 Tips" app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.
Those who are grieving and need someone to talk to are encouraged to utilize the following resources:
Cochrane Community Health Centre (M-F 8:00am – 4:30pm): 403-851-6100
Distress Centre (24 hrs/day): 403-266-4357
Kids Help Phone (24hrs/day): 1-800-668-6868
AHS Mental Health Helpline (24hrs/day): 1-877-303-2642