Highway 3 is often called the Crowsnest Pass in this particular part of the mountain it covers a small part of the highway on the BC/AB border. The highway is officially known as the Crowsnest Highway it was the first mountain road I ever drove; being a prairie boy, I naturally thought this was a heck of a mountain road. But, after a few years of pulling super b and tandem loads through BC’s northern and central highway network. Many drivers like myself have had the chance to see some of the greatest natural beauty of the lower east Kootenays from a highway.
The challenges that come with this eastern section of BC’s Crowsnest Highway are vacationers, truckers, local commuters, and maintenance vehicles that meet up with each other that causes a lot of stress on drivers with heavy traffic, tickets, collisions, and fatalities.
I have heard many experiences on that highway, from pushing snow with the bumper of a truck, cars exploding on impact, rollovers, and jack-knife trailers.
To help prevent these accidents one of the top 5 general rules a trucker should follow is never be going so fast that, if something appears on the road ahead of you, you need to be able to stop safely before hitting it.
One evening, I heard a story of a truck driver cruising around a curve on Crowsnest Highway #3, and right in front of him was a life-changing sight. A small car had stopped half on the shoulder and half in their lane. It was an undivided two-lane section of road, so there was little way to get around them without the driver going into the oncoming lane. It seemed that the car belonged to a small family, most of which were out of their vehicle. One adult was helping a small child use the bathroom on shoulder. The other adult was standing in the center of their lane taking pictures of the scenery, facing away from the traffic, totally unaware of what was to come upon them. Fortunately, the driver was traveling slow enough that he had ample time to bring his speed down and blast off the air horn quickly, then re-focused his attention to the but the driver’s view was the reality of a crashing steel, rubber, and asphalt. There was little drama and a lot of luck and the driver was able to slow to a crawl as the family as they got back into their car. Although the trucker avoided the crash and was in complete shock as he missed the crash and as he looked into the mirror on the side of the truck he saw nothing. They were gone like the change of the air in the evening it swallowed them up and lifted them away in the evening air.
I love hearing of such stories and tales of Canada’s highways, it always takes me away from what is reality and puts me into the place where reality and stories mix into one.