Always Pass Safely
You can easily
see an active
the blue and
Here’s what to do:
Slow to 60km/hr
Plows pull over about every
10-15 kms, slow to 60 km/h when
passing a snowplow stopped
with warning lights flashing – it’s
Be careful in the “Snow Zone”.
Stay back and pass only when
safe to do so.
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A smaller car that had been driving behind the semi pulled into
the work zone and struck Minogue from behind. Its momentum
sent Minogue flying into the ditch. The car slammed into the rear of
the parked work truck.
The woman driving the car claimed she fell asleep. Witnesses of
the crash say the car’s signal light was flickering, making the assumption
the woman was pulling out to pass the semi.
“The impact was pretty strong,” Minogue remembered. “It blew
my steel-toed work boots, which were laced and tied all the way up,
off into the ditch somewhere. The car hit me from behind and I don’t
really remember much.
“I was in total shock. I remember waking up partially when I was
in the (STARS) helicopter. They told me I was picked up by STARS,
so I knew it was a very serious accident and that I was in trouble.”
Flown by STARS to a Calgary hospital, Minogue soon learned
the extent of her injuries. Two vertebrae in her spine were broken,
which required emergency surgery to have them fused. She also suffered
a broken pelvis, a few broken ribs, broken bones in one of her
feet and knee and ankle sprains.
She was in a back brace for several months and had steel rods
inserted into her spine. The surgeon told her there was a strong
chance she would be paralyzed.
Fifteen years later, the lingering effects are knee soreness and the
emotional baggage attached with such a horrific moment.
“It was a life-changing, eye-opening experience,” said Minogue.
“Fifteen years later, here I am feeling pretty good. I’m married, I
have a daughter. But at the time of the accident, I would not have
classified it as walking away unscathed. It was a moment in my life
that really affected me physically and emotionally.”
She’s not alone.
One of the more high-profile cases in Saskatchewan came in 2012
when Ashley Richards was struck by a vehicle and killed while working
as a flag person on a highway near Midale. Richards had recently
relocated to Saskatchewan and was engaged to be married.
The driver, Keith Dunford, was found guilty of dangerous driving
causing death. He was driving an estimated 90 to 100 kilometres per
hour in his SUV before he hit Richards.
Several lives were forever changed the day Richards was killed.
Minogue, though she survived her accident, was a given a fresh outlook
on road safety.
“Going through a construction zone (after the accident) was almost
traumatizing for a while, mainly because people do not slow
down,” she said. “My family and friends would get a lecture from me
if they were going even one click over the speed limit.
“There have been a lot of terrible, terrible accidents on the highways
in Saskatchewan and here in Alberta and it really shakes me
every time I hear about something like that. I feel really lucky – and
my injuries were bad – that I was able to get away and live my life. A
lot of people aren’t so lucky.
“I don’t know if speed was a factor in my accident. But it’s a
matter of paying attention, being alert and being aware that people
are on the ground just doing their jobs. It takes one second
of falling asleep or not paying attention to completely change
26 Think BIG | Quarter 3 2019 | saskheavy.ca