Rising road deaths on Highway 628 prompt families to demand safety measures

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Kirsten MacNeil still goes out to the side of Highway 628 and tries to sleep at the spot where her son, Luke MacNeil, died in a car crash on July 6.

Luke MacNeil is not the only one who has died on the gravel road between Edmonton and Stony Plain, and a growing number of families are calling for improvements.

Wendy Wagner, Luke’s aunt and Kirsten’s sister, was 4,000 kilometres away when she heard the news and returned to deal with cremation, funeral arrangements and choosing songs for a slide show to remember his life.

Luke MacNeil was driving westbound in his mother’s SUV when the vehicle skidded off the road just before Century Road around 6:30 p.m. July 6.

Wagner said the road has no shoulder, the edges are sloped and gravely and the ditches are deep with no guardrails. The vehicle rolled into the ditch, hitting a large tree, killing MacNeil on impact.

A makeshift cross atop an embankment was surrounded by a football, a flashlight and flowers.

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