10 in­jured in Sask. bus crash

Times Colonist - - Canada -

Only one of the 10 pipe­line work­ers in­jured when a bus col­lided with a semi-truck at a ru­ral Saskatchewan in­ter­sec­tion re­mains in hos­pi­tal, a spokesman for the com­pany that em­ploys the work­ers said Satur­day.

Paul Stuck­less, cor­po­rate safety man­ager for O.J. Pipe­lines, said the work­ers were trav­el­ling to Kin­der­s­ley, Sask., from a work­site when their bus was struck by a grain truck in Ker­robert on Fri­day af­ter­noon.

He said 16 work­ers in the pipe-weld­ing crew — in­clud­ing the driver — were on board at the time.

Stuck­less said the truck struck the side of the bus, send­ing it spin­ning into a ditch.

“It was a pretty busy night but we’re look­ing af­ter ev­ery­body,” Stuck­less said, not­ing he did not know the ex­tent of the in­juries of the per­son who re­mained in hos­pi­tal.

RCMP said the semi was haul­ing two trail­ers of canola, and the bus was a “con­verted school bus.”

Po­lice said three peo­ple were taken to a hos­pi­tal in Saska­toon by he­li­copter, and seven oth­ers were taken to lo­cal hos­pi­tals. Four were treated at the scene. RCMP did not re­lease the na­ture or ex­tent of the in­juries, but said in a state­ment on Satur­day that none of the in­juries were con­sid­ered life-threat­en­ing. They also noted that nei­ther the driver of the truck nor the woman who was driv­ing the bus was hurt.

Chris Bunz said he was driv­ing by and saw the semi-truck in the mid­dle of the in­ter­sec­tion and a white bus ly­ing on its side in the shoul­der, dented but with win­dows in­tact.

“[The semi] looked like it had prob­a­bly just a lit­tle front end dam­age, and the bus had a lit­tle bit of rip­pling in the side, so I don’t think it was too, too big a col­li­sion, but enough to put the bus over,” he said in a phone in­ter­view.

Bunz, a res­i­dent of nearby Unity, Sask., said the pres­ence of in­dus­trial ac­tiv­ity, heavy traf­fic and speed­ing driv­ers make the in­ter­sec­tion where the crash oc­curred a par­tic­u­larly dan­ger­ous one.

“There’s a lot of equip­ment parked at the cor­ner. They have a stock­pile of dirt and a bunch of equip­ment too, so it’s kind of dis­tract­ing, be­cause you have that right in that cor­ner and lots of traf­fic, too,” he said.

Stuck­less said four of O.J. Pipe­lines’ own emer­gency staff went to the scene and as­sisted lo­cal first re­spon­ders.

RCMP said they’re still in­ves­ti­gat­ing the crash, but said they don’t be­lieve at this point that al­co­hol was a fac­tor.

The crash comes just days af­ter the Humboldt Bron­cos played their first game since the April col­li­sion in­volv­ing the hockey team’s bus and a trans­port truck at a ru­ral Saskatchewan high­way in­ter­sec­tion.

Six­teen peo­ple, in­clud­ing 10 play­ers, were killed and 13 play­ers were in­jured in that crash.

The driver of that truck, Jaski­rat Singh Sidhu, is charged with 16 counts of dan­ger­ous driv­ing caus­ing death and 13 counts of dan­ger­ous driv­ing caus­ing bod­ily in­jury.

Sidhu, who was not hurt in the crash, was re­leased on $1,000 bail in July un­der con­di­tions he not drive and that he sur­ren­der his pass­port.

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