The snow caused chaos on the roads on Thursday, with dozens of crashes reported including a fatal tragedy southeast of Calgary.

Police suspect black ice is to blame for a number of crashes on southern Alberta highways, including a crash that saw a van leave the road and roll down an embankment.

Both people inside the van died as a result, but police have not released their identities.

There were also dozens of crashes within Calgary city limits.

Conditions caused a pickup truck to slam into the side of a shop in Inglewood on Thursday afternoon.

The impact of the truck left a gaping hole in the two foot thick wall.

Bricks littered the store and clean up is expected to be extensive.

One employee also reportedly narrowly missed being seriously injured.

Another serious crash that occurred at just after 4 p.m. sent a man to hospital.

Police say the driver rammed a number of parked cars.

They say he suffered a heart attack moments before the crash.

Calgary Police say there were 12 injury and 182 non-injury crashes reported between midnight and 4 p.m. on Thursday.

Police are offering the following winter driving tips:

Before your journey

  • Plan your journey ahead and try to stay on main roads
  • Check the weather conditions before you leave and always allow extra time for your journey
  • Make sure your vehicle is clear of snow and ice – not only is it dangerous, but it could result in a $115 ticket
  • Uncleared snow could also fall off your vehicle and hit the vehicle behind or distract other drivers.

When driving

  • Drive according to the road conditions. Just because the speed is posted at 100 km per hour does not mean you have to go that fast
  • Always leave a safe gap between you and other vehicles. That way you will have plenty of time to react should anything happen…the ‘two second’ rule is always a good idea
  • Pay particular attention at intersections. Snow often melts under the exhausts of vehicles and then re-freezes making it icy and difficult to stop
  • Take extra care when travelling over bridges where black ice can form
  • Avoid any sudden manoeuvres such as braking, accelerating or sharp turns
  • If the conditions are too treacherous, turn back or find safety quickly.