Alberta woman warns of rocks falling on Highway 1 after rock smashes windshield | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Alberta woman warns of rocks falling on Highway 1 after rock smashes windshield

Luisa Steen was driving along Highway 1, March 4, when a rock smashed into her window.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Diana Reineking

An Alberta woman wants to warn people of rocks falling along the Trans-Canada Highway after a fist-sized stone smashed her windshield.

Luisa Steen was driving from Calgary to visit family in Kelowna on March 4 through Kicking Horse Canyon when the rock came crashing down.

“I had my sunroof open too, and oh my god, I’m so thankful it didn’t go through that, and I see this baseball-sized boulder land on the windshield, bounce off and smash almost through,” she said, adding none of the vehicles could stop since there wasn’t a shoulder on the side of the highway.

Construction has been ongoing in Kicking Horse Canyon since April 2021 to widen Highway 1 near Golden.

When Steen managed to pull over, she started to cry.

“Thankfully it did not go all the way through,” she said.

A person died after being hit by rocks in Kicking Horse Canyon that same day. Steen wants to warn people of her experience, she said, considering she couldn’t turn around.

“People were just passing me too, if it hit me and I were to get out and I would have been bleeding all over, I would have been hit,” she said. “Thank god it’s my windshield but that poor woman died.”

Rocks did fall last week within the Ministry of Transportation’s Kicking Horse Canyon project, but an assessment of the site showed the rocks fell outside of the current work zone, according to a statement from the ministry.

“The incident was not related to work on the Kicking Horse Canyon Phase 4 project.”

The rockfall was likely due to freeze and thaw conditions that happen regularly this time of year, according to the ministry.

“The ongoing highway upgrade through this section of Highway 1 will dramatically reduce the risk of rockfall in the future,” according to the statement.

If a driver’s vehicle is damaged by falling rocks in B.C., they are asked to file a claim with their insurance company, the ministry said.

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