British Columbia

B.C. bus crash kills 1, injures up to 60 east of Kamloops

One person is dead and as many as 60 people have been injured —one seriously — in a crash involving a passenger bus five kilometres west of Chase, B.C.

Hwy. 1 closed in both directions; one seriously injured

Chase Mayor Rick Berrigan said the highway is extremely busy during summer months and plans are in place to have it widened. (submitted by Adam Warner)

One person has been killed and as many as 60 people have been injured — at least one seriously — in a crash involving a passenger bus five kilometres west of Chase, B.C.

Lt. David Sakaki of Kamloops Fire Rescue said when he arrived on scene, members of Chase Fire Rescue were already responding and a B.C. Ambulance helicopter had just landed.

"Unfortunately, there was one fatality," he said. "The driver of the vehicle, the lone driver of the vehicle was killed in the incident."

The accident occurred at around 4 p.m. PT. Chase RCMP Const. Brian Blaikie said that a small black car travelling westbound toward Kamloops, B.C., went into the oncoming lane and hit a private charter bus head-on.

He said first responders were working to extract the deceased man from the vehicle.

"The vehicle spun from the impact and the bus went off-road," said Blaikie.

Cause of crash unknown

He said the cause of the crash is not yet known.

Michaela Swann, a spokeswoman for Interior Health authority, said 57 people had arrived at Royal Inland Hospital, one in serious condition, 20 with non life-threatening injuries, and 36 who were not injured.

The rest of the wounded people were assessed by paramedics at the scene.

The B.C. Ministry of Transportation said the accident closed Highway 1 in both directions.

The accident happened in the area known as Hoffman's Bluff, a two-lane stretch of road that the provincial government said earlier this year would be upgraded to four lanes to improve safety.

Chase Mayor Rick Berrigan said the stretch is a winding, rock-faced part of the highway with no residents in the area.

"Hoffman's Bluff has always been a big concern to the travellers on Highway 1," he said.

He said the government is in the process of widening the highway, but doesn't know if the crash was in the same spot as the construction.

Berrigan said the highway is extremely busy, especially during the summer.

"It's obviously a very tragic situation. We need that four-laning done quick."

With files from The Canadian Press

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