Heavy smoke prevents air ambulance from landing at serious crash site in southern Alberta

Police say heavy wildfire smoke is preventing an air ambulance from landing at the site of a serious vehicle crash in southern Alberta.

At 11:30 a.m., Cochrane and Turner Valley RCMP responded to the crash site on Highway 40, approximately 13 kilometres north of Highway 541 — or between the trailheads for Cataract Creek or Pickle Jar Lakes trails.

Police said due to the remote location, information about the crash was limited and that heavy wildfire smoke was preventing STARS air ambulance from landing safely at the location.

Emergency crews were on site, but police weren’t yet able to confirm how many vehicles were involved nor how many people were injured.

Highway 40 was closed south of Highway 1 between Lantern Creek day use area and Lineham Creek day use area. No detour was available, and 511 Alberta said the estimated reopening time was 7 p.m.

An RCMP collision analyst was en route, and the investigation is ongoing.

Most of Alberta, including the site of the crash, was under a special air quality statement due to wildfire smoke. The air quality health index was forecasted to hit seven, or high risk, on Sunday. 

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