First responders praised after school bus crash in British Columbia’s Cariboo region

The quick response to the school bus crash in British Columbia’s Cariboo region, which left about 36 people injured Friday, was crucial to ensuring the safety of those involved, according to a fire chief who was at the scene.

I am “very proud of the volunteer fire departments and the firefighters that attended and our other partner agencies,” said Cariboo Regional District Fire Chief Roger Hollander.

Seven people were airlifted to hospital and another seven in ambulances. Additionally, a subsequent incident at the same location left one person dead. BC RCMP declined to release information about the deceased on Saturday.

According to RCMP, the bus left the road and went down an embankment after traveling on Highway 97 north of 100 Mile House, which is about 455 kilometers northeast of Vancouver.

The cause of the bus crash is still being investigated, authorities said.

A yellow school bus got stuck on a grassy embankment next to a highway.
The bus crash is still being investigated, authorities said. (Robert Moberg)

Corporal Brett Urano, division media relations officer, confirmed that the bus accident was followed by a second incident, in which a person was struck by a vehicle at the same location.

Despite lifesaving efforts by first responders, the person died, he said.

rescue efforts

The sixth- and seventh-grade students from 100 Mile Elementary and Horse Lake Elementary who were on the bus were returning from a field trip to Gavin Lake, about 90 kilometers northwest of 100 Mile House, according to Chris van der Mark, Cariboo superintendent. -Chilcotin School District.

Nearly 40 of the students and four adults on board, including a driver and teachers, were “freed” from the crash scene, Fire Chief Hollander said.

“Many of those students were… taken out… and were assisted by bystanders and other witnesses,” he said.

However, when fire crews responded to the scene, they found the driver and a student needed to be rescued after becoming trapped inside the bus.

Thanks to a coordinated response from 100 Mile House Fire Rescue, RCMP and volunteer firefighters, both individuals were successfully rescued, Hollander said.

Van der Mark said the school district plans to support the children and families involved.

“I think everyone is pretty relieved that the extent of the injuries in terms of some broken bones, some sprains and some concussions is probably not good, certainly, (but) certainly better than what people were hearing,” van said. der Mark.

“I can’t express enough gratitude to our staff who were not only on the bus, but also those who were nearby,” he said, noting that they quickly joined the first responders.

The firefighter’s own son among the injured

One of the children on the bus was identified as the son of a firefighter, Fire Chief Hollander said.

“This volunteer (firefighter) had to be tough, obviously both physically and emotionally to be able to focus, helping with the rest of the kids,” Hollander said, speaking of the firefighter who had to rescue his own son and others.

“It just shows the commitment and level of dedication that members of the fire department, especially as volunteers (have shown).”

The fire chief confirmed that the volunteer firefighter’s son was airlifted to a hospital and is recovering.

BC Emergency Health Services said 11 ambulances and seven air ambulances were sent to the scene.

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