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Tag: Sparwood

Icy sheen on Highway 3 near Elko.

Icy conditions west of Alberta/BC border

Extremely icy road conditions overnight near the British Columbia-Alberta border resulted in at least two vehicles sliding off Highway 3 east of Sparwood.

According to Drive BC, the incidents occurred between Michel Creek Road and the Carbon Creek Bridge. 

Elk Valley RCMP confirm there were no serious injuries.

RCMP in Crowsnest Pass are urging drivers travelling west to use extreme caution.

At one point overnight, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure closed a section of the highway. Traffic coming from Alberta was stopped at Coleman, while eastbound vehicles were halted at Sparwood.

Freezing rain had been in the forecast overnight, but there’s no indication if that was a contributing factor.

Traffic in the area has been reduced to single-lane alternating traffic.

Road conditions in the area remain poor.


Table setting of wedding venue — the Cowley Lions Campground Stockade near Pincher Creek in southwestern Alberta.



Toxic drug alerts in place for B.C. Interior Health Authority

British Columbia’s Interior Health Authority, which covers the East Kootenay and includes the communities of Sparwood, Fernie and Cranbrook, came out with two separate toxic drug alerts for the region last week.

The first warning, on Nov. 14, for the entire health region, was for fake Dilaudid (hydromorphone) tablets. Also known as dillies, the pills, which look like the genuine prescription given out by pharmacists, present a very high risk for overdose.

The counterfeit tablets contain five per cent isotonitazene, but at that level are still considered equally or more potent than fentanyl, according to the IHA, and believed to be 20 times or more powerful than the real product.

Two days later, the health authority posted an even more worrisome warning for Cranbrook for the drug xylazine, being found increasingly in tested samples of “down.”


Pig roast at wedding venue — the Cowley Lions Campground Stockade near Pincher Creek in southwestern Alberta.


Sold as down, dope or fentanyl, it can produce amnesia or sleepiness and might be made with dangerous levels of fentanyl, fentanyl analogue, xylazine or benzodiazepines. An added concern: it may also be resistant to naloxone, a temporary measure first responders will use to bring someone out of a drug-induced coma.

While the alert was issued in B.C., drug enforcement agencies are quick to point out that supply can easily gain access into other provinces, like Alberta, very quickly.

Drug alert poster showing samples of down — two orange and one green — that look like rock candy
Drug advisory poster showing white, fake dilaudid tablet




Wanted man Randall Hopley. Dark hair, light skin, hazel eyes, grimace.

Randall Hopley on the run

Vancouver Police Department has issued a Canada-wide warrant for Randall Hopley, who signed out of his halfway house Saturday afternoon and didn’t return. Police say Hopley removed his monitoring bracelet and disappeared.

Many will remember the frantic search for Kienan Hebert in September 2011. The three-year-old was abducted from his Sparwood home while his family slept.

After a multiday manhunt, Hopley returned the toddler to his home without physical harm. No one was home at the time — the family returned to find Kienan there after receiving a phone tip. The boy had been held captive in an abandoned cabin in the Crowsnest Pass area for four days.

RCMP captured Hopley there to put the ordeal to rest.

Hopley was charged with kidnapping, abducting a person under 16, and breaking and entering with intent to commit a crime. He received a sentence of six years and two months for Kienan’s abduction and another year for his property crimes. 

On his release in 2018, Vancouver police issued a public warning that Hopley posed a significant risk of reoffending. He was under a 10-year supervision order, which included restrictions on being in the presence of children under the age of 16, computer use, and adherence to a curfew. He also is banned from possession of firearms for life.

The 58-year-old high-risk sex offender was expected to appear in court Monday for two counts of breaching his long-term supervision order after he was allegedly spotted near children at a public library in the city earlier this year.

Hopley has been convicted of a number of crimes including assault, property crimes, sexual crimes (including three against children) and abduction.

Hopley is five feet nine inches and weighs about 180 pounds. He has brown hair and hazel eyes, and often wears a beard. When last seen he was dressed all in black, including a black hat.

Anyone who sees Randall Hopley is advised to call 911 immediately.


Ad for Blinds and More in Pincher Creek and Crowsnest Pass



Text "fatal motor vehicle collision near Alberta/BC border" over top of red and blue lights with RCMP logo

An Alberta man is dead following Highway 3 crash

An Alberta man is dead after a fiery highway crash Monday, Nov. 21, involving a semi-trailer near the British Columbia border.

Elk Valley RCMP’s Sgt. Gregory Brad said police were called to the wreck on Highway 3, roughly 12 kilometres east of Sparwood, B.C., at around 6:30 p.m.

The deceased is a 52-year-old Coleman man whose westbound Honda Civic crossed the centre line, hitting the eastbound semi on a winding section of the two-lane highway.

Paramedics pronounced the man dead at the scene.

“Any time a Civic goes up against a semi, it ends up in tragedy,” Brad said, adding that neither vehicle was carrying any passengers.

Shootin' the Breeze connection to more local stories

Mounties believe icy conditions likely contributed to the collision, having ruled out dangerous driving and alcohol and drugs.

Both vehicles had certified winter tires, Brad said.

The semi’s trailer caught fire after the crash, leaving Sparwood firefighters to battle the flames until around 10:30 p.m.

The highway was reopened in both directions when police left shortly thereafter.

The semi driver, a B.C. man, was taken to hospital in Sparwood for observation. He was soon discharged, having sustained no serious injuries.