SMOKY LAKE – Shortly before 8:30 a.m. Dec. 2, a school bus contracted by Aspen View Public Schools was involved in a motor-vehicle collision with a crane at the intersection of Highway 28 and Range Road 180, approximately five kilometres west of Smoky Lake.
The bus, which was transporting students to H.A. Kostash School, a K-12 school in Smoky Lake, was northbound on RR 180 and the crane was westbound on Highway 28.“Fifteen students were aboard the bus at the time of the collision, plus the bus driver,” confirmed Ross Hunter, communications officer for Aspen View Public Schools.
One youth suffered serious life-threatening injuries and was transported by STARS to Edmonton and another was taken by EMS to Edmonton with serious non-life-threatening injuries.
A second bus was dispatched to the scene and transported the remaining students and the driver to the Smoky Lake Healthcare Centre for further assessment.
Families of all students involved in the collision have been notified. Supports for students and staff are in place at H.A. Kostash School and Redwater Victim Services is assisting.
"Our thoughts are with the students and bus driver involved in the collision this morning and their families," said Aspen View superintendent Neil O'Shea. "We are very grateful for the first responders who attended to those involved and quickly directed them to appropriate medical care. We are working closely with the RCMP and Alberta Health Services to obtain accurate information and provide assistance to everyone affected. Supports are in place to assist the H.A. Kostash School community and we are committed to providing whatever assistance is needed, for as long as needed, while the outcomes from this incident become known."
Board of Trustees chair Candyce Nikipelo added: "An incident of this nature is the fear of every parent in rural Alberta who puts their child on a school bu each morning. The hearts of families throughout Aspen View and rural Alberta go out to those involved."
The driver of the crane was taken to hospital with minor injuries and a passenger was not injured.
Smoky Lake RCMP along with a RCMP Collision Analyst remain on scene and the investigation continues.