School bus crash

Update - 11:30 a.m. with info from Vernon Christian School

This morning the school bus we contract to transport our students was involved in an accident, leaving the bus on it’s side. Our initial report from the transportation company confirmed the accident and reported that other than bumps & bruises all students were fine. 

It was reported by Vernon RCMP and staff on site that the paramedics at the scene made the call to transport all 19 students to the hospital to have them checked out.  Three students have been kept for further observation as a precaution. The RCMP have reported there are no serious injuries and officer Gord Molendyk visited our school to confirm these reports.    

God’s timing was incredible. As the bus flipped over on it’s side a fire truck was directly behind our bus. They were able to unload the students and quickly assess the injuries. 

All students were walking, talking and generally, by all accounts, okay. Students and staff gathered at the school this morning to pray and debrief. 

A team of our staff, administration, counsellors and parents were at the scene of the accident and also were transported with the students to the hospital. All efforts have been made to contact all the parents of our students and to share accurate information as given to us by the Vernon RCMP and Administration on site. Personal phones calls have been placed to connect with parents of those students who were on board. Students were released from the hospital into the care of parents and care givers. 

Please watch your students for signs of stress and changes in behaviour, and make yourself available to talk to your kids.  If you notice signs of distress please contact either Melissa Overend ext. 12 or Marian Tidsbury at ext. 26, 250-545-7345. 

Update -- 10:30 a.m.

The owner of A1 bus company has said that road conditions were icy at the time of the crash, and Rimer Road was not sanded.

The bus had been travelling east on Rimer Road, when the vehicle crested a hill that leads down to Pleasant Valley Road. The driver began to slide and knew he wouldn't be able to come to a stop at the intersection below.

“The intersection was very slippery, and (the driver) was going quite slow and was sliding," says Cairns.

"On the other side of Pleasant Valley Road is an embankment and the driver felt he had two choices – to either slide through the intersection and over the embankment, or to try and put in into the ditch before he got to the intersection."

He says the driver chose to put the bus into the ditch as the safer option, but it was too top heavy and flipped onto its side.

Cairns adds that the bus was just inspected by the commercial vehicle inspection agency six weeks ago. 

One student was transported to hospital and several others had minor injuries.

Original story -- 9 a.m.

Emergency crews in Vernon are on the scene of a motor vehicle crash involving a Vernon Christian School bus.

The incident occurred around 8:30 a.m. at Pleasant Valley and Rimer roads, just south of Swan Lake. 

“We were originally headed to a structure fire first, and a school bus rolled over right in front of my rescue unit,” says BX Fire Department Chief Bill Wacey.

“There was a slight injury to one of the kids, but the school bus was fully loaded." 

Initial reports were that a spinal board was needed for one of the injuries, but Wacey says he has since been updated that those injuries have been downgraded and only one person is being transported to hospital.

“My understanding is that it wasn’t anything too serious.”

The bus came to rest on its side in the ditch, and there are reports that the roads were extremely icy at the time.

There were 24 students on the bus at the time of the crash.

Officials with the school say councillors are at the hospital with the injured and also  at the school dealing with the students.

Students and staff have also gathered to pray for those injured in the accident.

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