British Columbia·Updated

B.C. school bus involved in deadly crash

One person was killed and several students and a teacher were injured after a car struck a school bus carrying 14 students head-on on a B.C. highway.
The school bus shows the brunt of a head-on collision Tuesday afternoon near Summerland, B.C. CBC/Jackie Sharkey

One person was killed and several students and a teacher were injured after a car struck a school bus carrying 14 students head-on on a B.C. highway on Tuesday afternoon.

The crash occurred at 5:45 p.m. PT on Highway 97 north of Summerland, in the Okanagan region of B.C., according to Cpl. Dan Moskaluk.

The school bus, which was from the Okanagan Skaha School District, was carrying 14 students and a teacher, who was driving, when it was struck by a passenger car that crossed the centreline of the road.

"A red Chrysler sedan was northbound when it crossed over the undivided highway section to the opposing southbound lane. This red Chrysler struck the 24-passenger school bus head-on," said Cpl. Moskaluk.

The crash killed the driver of the car and pushed the school bus into the path of a second southbound vehicle, he said.

One student was air-lifted to Kelowna General Hospital with serious injuries, while eight of the other students and the female teacher were transported to Penticton Regional Hospital, said Moskaluk.

Several students were treated and released at the scene and the driver of the third vehicle was shaken but not seriously injured, he said.

The collision happened during a heavy downpour, and the weather may have been a factor, according to Moskaluk

"The weather has been described — including in the area here of Highway 97 — as a heavy downpour in the collision area. It's believed the weather itself may be one of the contributing factors," he said.

The bus is owned and operated by School District 67 Okanagan Skaha.

Investigators will be conducting mechanical inspections of the vehicles involved and more information is expected to be released later on Wednesday, Cpl. Moskaluk said.

 

With files from Meera Bains