A fatal Collision Occurred Every 2.5 Days (avg) From September 1-October 25

“Yes, the number of fatal collisions increased exponentially in recent weeks and yes, we are concerned,” says Superintendent Grant St. Germaine, officer in charge of Saskatchewan RCMP Traffic Services. “22 fatal collisions and 26 deaths occurred in Saskatchewan RCMP jurisdiction between September 1 and October 25 this year. This is a dramatic increase from the 36 fatal collisions and 38 deaths from January 1-August 31, 2023. The fatal collisions geographically occurred all throughout the province. There is no one ‘hot spot’ or mitigating factor, making it challenging to provide a specific overall contributing cause.”

58 fatal collisions in Saskatchewan RCMP jurisdiction thus far in 2023 – 26 since September 1

  • September 1 to October 25, 22 fatal collisions occurred resulting in 26 deaths (14 drivers, nine passengers and three pedestrians died).

Overall fatal collisions in Saskatchewan RCMP jurisdiction

2023January 1 – October 2558 collisions64 deaths as a result of these collisions
2022January 1 – October 2551 collisions63 deaths as a result of these collisions
January 1- December 31 (entire year)65 collisions79 deaths as a result of these collisions
2021January 1- December 31 (entire year)73 collisions79 deaths as a result of these collisions
2020January 1- December 31 (entire year)71 collisions80 deaths as a result of these collisions

Specific monthly breakdowns

2023January 1 – August 3136 fatal collisions
(on average, a fatal collision occurred every 6.7 days)
38 deaths as a result of these collisions
September 1- October 2522 fatal collisions
(on average, a fatal collision occurred every 2.5 days)
26 deaths as a result of these collisions
2022January 1 – August 3144 fatal collisions54 deaths as a result of these collisions
September 1- October 2579

Note: numbers do not include fatal collisions which occurred on private property, in other Saskatchewan police service jurisdictions, off public road surfaces and those related to medical emergencies. This is consistent with statistics provided to SGI for reporting purposes.

What are the causes?

There may be multiple causes/factors associated to one fatal collision. This could include a single factor, such as alcohol impairment or double, triple or even quadruple additional factors such as speed, alcohol or/and drug impairment, seatbelt use, medical emergency, wildlife involvement, among others.

17 impairment investigations

Driver impairment is considered a cause or factor in 17 out of the 58 fatal collisions in 2023. Of these, four drivers were charged or a charge was recommended for impaired operation of a motor vehicle – three involving alcohol and one involving both drug and alcohol. Eight drivers died, with four of these investigations involving drug impairment. Five collisions remain under investigation. Multiple fatal collision investigations are still ongoing.

13,000+ kilometers traveled by collision reconstructionists since September 1

Fatal collision investigations are complex and the Saskatchewan RCMP has five full-time and five part-time collision reconstructionists who are highly skilled in this area. At any one time there are two reconstructionists on-call – one in the north half of the province and one in the south – ready to respond at all times and support our RCMP detachments.

“A rough calculation of the number of kilometers our reconstructionists traveled in the past two months to investigate fatal collisions is roughly 13,000+ kilometers,” shares Sgt. Jeff Burnett, Saskatchewan RCMP Collision Reconstruction. “To put things in perspective, the furthest travel time for one of our reconstructionists was 626 kilometers one-way to conduct an on-scene investigation and, in contrast, another was 28 kilometers. We may be battling adverse weather just to get to a scene – snow, rain, icy roads and more. After we arrive, it generally takes four to six hours to gather evidence, with the time dramatically increasing based on investigational complexity. This can mean road closures last for many hours for critical scene processing.”

A collision reconstruction investigation takes at least several months or sometimes more, factoring in wait times for results of examinations, such as toxicology, in addition to extensive analysis. Most investigations from between September 1, 2023 to date are not yet complete. Some investigations may never result in charges.

No one wants to deliver a next of kin notification

“Every traffic fatality is a tragedy and our thoughts are with everyone who’s had a loved one die on Saskatchewan roads. The impact is great on our police officers as well, responding to and investigating fatal collisions. No one wants to, nor can anything prepare you for, delivering a next of kin notification. Our officers are not the only ones on scene – there are emergency medical personnel and firefighters, who may also be local volunteers, as well as tow truck drivers, among others. Recognizing there are a multitude of factors related to fatal collisions, our message is to please drive safe on our roads. We want everyone to get home safe,” said Supt. St. Germaine.

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