Alberta town helps scouts stranded by crash with moose

A group of boy scouts got a helping hand from the people of Smoky Lake, Alta. after their bus hit two moose on the highway Friday night.
Two dozen boy scouts had their travel plans delayed when their bus hit two moose near Smoky Lake Friday night. No one was injured, and a local bus driver volunteered to take them the rest of the way. (Smoky Lake Fire Department)

A group of boy scouts are back on their way to camp after their bus struck two moose that were running across a northern Alberta highway, about 120 kilometres outside Edmonton, Friday night.

"Hats off to the driver of that bus. It’s just amazing, to keep that bus upright and on the road and not going into the ditch and into oncoming traffic," said Smoky Lake mayor and fire chief Hank Holowaychuk.

"Just amazing driving skills."

The bus was on its way from Beaver Lake, Alta. to a scout camp near Smoky Lake when the vehicle hit a moose and her calf.

Holowaychuk says no one was injured, but the bus couldn’t be driven, stranding the scouts.

He says some parents were following the bus in their own vehicles. By the time fire and police arrived on the scene, most of the children had been shuttled to a local restaurant, which stayed open late to accommodate the group.

"Because the scout motto is be prepared, they travel with a couple of chase vehicles," he said.

Deputy Fire Chief Chris Schwab said that while emergency officials were trying to find a place for the scouts to stay the night, another bus -- this time from a local club -- pulled up in front of the restaurant.

"They actually surprised us and showed up to shuttle the kids all the way to their camp," Schwab said.

"It’s always great to have a happy ending like that."