A mother in southern Manitoba says she's thankful her children have just minor bumps and cuts after the school bus they were in collided with a car on Thursday afternoon.
The school bus driving six of Linda Jonk's children home was crossing Highway 34 at Provincial Road 245 when it was T-boned by a northbound car shortly before 4 p.m.
"The past 24 hours has been very rattling, to say the least," Jonk told CBC News at the crash scene on Friday.
"You go through a lot of emotions — very scared but very thankful in the end that the outcome of this wasn't as bad as it could have been."
The intersection where the collision happened near Bruxelles, Man., roughly 11 kilometres south of Holland, Man.
Jonk said she was driving home from a nearby community when she saw the bus on its side and blocking the road.
"I realized it could possibly have been the bus my children were on, so I quickly went into my yard to check if my kids had yet been dropped off. And at that point, I received a phone call from an older son of mine who had driven up and happened to come across this accident," she said.
"He phoned me and told me, 'Come quickly. The kids have been in an accident. They're OK, the bus is flipped over, but everybody's OK.' So I arrived here within less than a minute of that."
Jonk said when she arrived, the six children — who are between the ages of eight and 15 — were sitting in a grassy ditch nearby and the bus driver was getting out of the vehicle.
RCMP said the children and the bus driver, a 59-year-old man, all had minor injuries.
A 60-year-old woman and two "youth passengers" inside the car were also injured, according to police. One young girl in the car suffered a broken collar bone, according to the girl's aunt.
"We have a couple of stitches, a sprained ankle, lots of bumps and smaller cuts," Jonk said of her children's injuries.
"This morning they woke up quite stiff and sore, and I imagine they'll be even more so tomorrow."
Jonk said the accident happened so quickly that her children are still processing exactly what happened, but they are already terrified of getting back on the bus come Monday.
"To visit this site makes me realize, again, how very fortunate we have been and how things like this shouldn't happen," she said.
Seatbelts on school buses?
Jonk said she thinks school buses should be equipped with seatbelts, especially given how rural buses have to travel for long distances on some pretty rough roads.
"One of my youngest sons, as he was tossed across the bus, he landed on his older brother with his head," she said.
"His head would have hit a broken window against the gravel if my older son had not been there to stop his fall."
She also says that with fewer students travelling by bus, smaller vehicles like vans with seatbelts would be a safer alternative.
Transport Canada and the Manitoba government say in most collisions, children in school buses are safer without seatbelts.
RCMP continue to investigate the crash. There is no word at this time if any charges will be laid.