8 people injured as bus, trucks crash in Alberta

8 people were injured after a Greyhound bus collided with 2 transport trucks east of Grande Prairie, Alta., on Wednesday.

Eight people were injured, two critically, when a Greyhound bus collided with two large trucks Wednesday east of Grande Prairie early Wednesday morning.

The bus driver and the driver of a semi-trailer are in critical condition in the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in the city, nearly 400 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.

Six other people were treated and released after the crash, which happened on a stretch of Highway east of Grande Prairie at about 5:30 a.m. local time.

RCMP Cpl. Tod Parsons said a tanker truck carrying powdered concrete slowed down to try to find the road in heavy fog. A second truck, loaded with groceries, ran into the first truck, and then the bus slammed into it.

Parsons said that although all three vehicles were only travelling at about 40 or 50 km/h, the accident crushed the cab of the grocery truck flat into the back of the tanker and demolished the entire section of the bus where the driver sits.

"The saving grace is that the drivers were driving to the road and weather conditions at the time," Parsons said.

A witness told a local radio station there was nothing left of the cab of the second truck.

"The Greyhound drove right into the back of the [truck] and it's probably 15 feet into the back of it," the man said.

"The front portion of both the [semi-trailer] and that Greyhound are missing, basically."

The accident took place on Highway 43, about 50 kilometres east of Grande Prairie in the Smoky River Valley.

The section of the road had recently been straightened and widened.

Dan Lemieux, deputy chief of the Grande Prairie fire department, said conditions on Highway 43 can be dangerous.

"What makes this particular stretch of highway so hazardous is the fact that we get fog in that valley – very heavy fog," he said.

The bus, which was travelling from Edmonton to Prince George, was carrying seven passengers, according to police.

Greyhound spokesman Don Schmaltz said the families of the bus passengers have been contacted.

The bus was an overflow vehicle – a bus carrying 51 passengers had gone through 10 minutes earlier.