No charges laid in Greyhound bus crash on Alaska Highway

In January, the bus hit a backhoe parked on the side of the road near Rancheria, Yukon. The bus then swerved, colliding with an oncoming semi-truck. After the accident, it was not clear why a backhoe had been parked there.

RCMP say a 'thorough investigation' of the January accident led to no charges for owner of backhoe on roadway

The Greyhound bus involved in the accident near the Rancheria Lodge, Yukon, on Jan. 22, 2017, was written off after the crash, but there were no injuries to the driver or six passengers. (Eric Zalitis)

RCMP will not be laying any charges in last winter's Greyhound bus crash on the Alaska Highway in southeast Yukon.

In January, the bus hit a backhoe parked on the side of the road about five kilometres from the Rancheria Lodge. The bus then swerved to the left, colliding with an oncoming semi-truck.

The crash happened around 1 a.m. and there were no injuries to either of the drivers or any of the six bus passengers. Trailers being towed by the bus and semi-truck were badly damaged.

Statements and officers' notes on the crash were obtained through an access to information request to the RCMP.

After the accident, it was not clear why a backhoe had been parked in a remote area on the Alaska Highway, or whether it had been parked on the travelled area of the roadway.

According to bus driver, it was.

His statement says the oncoming semi-truck came over a rise and its high-beam lights blinded him. That's when he hit the parked backhoe, badly damaging the front left corner of the bus.

Rancheria Lodge is in a remote area on the Alaska Highway. (CBC)

He said the highway shoulder at that point was less than a metre wide.

The truck driver's account is largely similar, saying the backhoe was parked on the "shoulder/road."

Not properly signed or flagged

The RCMP investigator's report said the backhoe "does not appear to have been properly signed/flagged."

The RCMP documents, however, do not contain a statement from the owner of the backhoe about whether the machine had been left parked on the road. Nor do they indicate whether the owner was spoken to by police.

The notes indicate that laying a charge for obstructing the roadway was considered.

CBC sent a request to RCMP, asking if a charge had been laid and if the owner of the backhoe had been interviewed.

The reply said it was determined no charges would be laid after "a thorough police investigation," and "discussions with territorial Crown and the RCMP traffic analyst."

There was no answer as to whether the backhoe owner was spoken to.

About the Author

Dave Croft

Reporter, CBC North

Dave Croft is a reporter in the CBC Yukon newsroom in Whitehorse. He has been been covering Yukon stories since 1990.


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