3 killed in bus crash

<p>Three passengers were killed early yesterday morning when a Greyhound bus rolled off an icy stretch of highway near Grande Prairie.</p>


Mother, infant among dead in rollover



Tim Scott/For Metro Edmonton


Three passengers were killed when this Greyhound bus crashed on a highway near Grande Prairie.

Three passengers were killed early yesterday morning when a Greyhound bus rolled off an icy stretch of highway near Grande Prairie.

A 20-year-old woman and her five-month-old son, along with a 72-year-old female, were among the dead in the aftermath of the crash of a bus that was travelling from Edmonton to Grande Prairie on Highway 43.

Police officers in Grande Prairie say the bus carrying 28 passengers and one driver rolled into the ditch about 50 kilometres east of the small city after losing control around 6:15 a.m.

Some passengers were sent flying through the windows as the bus rolled, while others were found pinned underneath the wreckage when emergency crews arrived, said RCMP Const. Scott Hagarty.

"It was weird seeing that scene — people were scrambling around figuring out what was going on," said Elder Sims, who was aboard a bus bound for Edmonton that travelled by the scene.

"It had to have been the weather that caused it — it was just nasty."

Police say icy road conditions likely played a factor in the collision, but traffic officers are still continuing their investigation.

The driver of the bus was a "professional operator" who had one year of driving experience with the company, said Dave Hickie, a passenger service director for Greyhound.

"This has been a very difficult day for us," said Hickie.

Hickie said a conference room was booked yesterday at the Grande Prairie Inn to address passengers’ needs, and the company may offer rooms for some of the stranded travellers.

"We are also trying to help them get back to their point of origin," said Hickie.

All 26 survivors of the bus crash were assessed at the hospital in Grande Prairie, including two who were airlifted by STARS Air Ambulance.

Of the survivors, police said 14 are in stable condition, three remain in serious, but stable, condition, while another remains in critical condition. Seven injured passengers were discharged from hospital by yesterday afternoon.

Bradley Green, a 39-year-old oil service worker, would have been on the bus to pick up his truck in Grande Prairie. After realizing he was tired, Green cancelled minutes before his trip.

"The lady who was supposed to pick me up when I got there called me and said, ‘I am sure glad you were not on there,’" said a visibly shaken Green.

"I am very thankful I didn’t make that trip."

Jeff Cummings Metro Edmonton

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