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Children injured, one seriously, as school bus, truck collide

Oct. 25, 2013, Crossfield, Alta. – Emergency officials say a child airlifted to hospital was in critical condition following a collision Friday between a work truck and a school bus north of Calgary.

October 25, 2013 
By The Canadian Press

Oct. 25, 2013, Crossfield, Alta. – Emergency officials say a child airlifted to hospital was in critical condition following a collision Friday between a work truck and a school bus north of Calgary.

STARS air ambulance spokesman Cam Heke said the five-year-old boy with potentially life-threatening injuries was flown from a rural intersection near the town of Crossfield to the Children's Hospital in Calgary.

RCMP say at least eight children and the female bus driver were also transported by ground ambulance to hospital but their conditions weren't known.

Deputy Fire Chief Judy Unsworth with Rocky View County said the accident happened about 8 a.m. and the children she saw were being treated by paramedics and firefighters.


"They were all very brave and … my heart goes out to them. They were trying not to cry and (were) very shook by what was happening," Unsworth said Friday.

Some motorists quickly stopped to help students get off the bus, and emergency personnel said those passersby also secured the scene.

"There was some sort of medically trained person with the military and a number of good Samaritans and eyewitnesses provided some aid so it was nice to see," said Adam Loria from Calgary EMS.

"For everybody involved today it was very scary, especially when you see a school bus involved and children hurt."

RCMP Sgt. Glen Demmon said it's always difficult when an accident involves children.

"There was a little bit of shock at first. I have children myself, but coming across the scene, the bystanders were really good. They had the scene contained and controlled," he said.

"They were looking after the victims and they were here on scene prior to EMS and fire department and seemed to have it well in hand."

The yellow bus was upright against a guardrail and a large pickup truck with "JMS Mechanical Services from Calgary" written on the side was nose down in a ravine after smashing through a reinforced guardrail. The front end of the bus was crushed and missing its windshield. Glass and auto parts were scattered across the road.

After the air ambulance left the scene, the remaining children and the bus driver were taken to Calgary hospitals by ground ambulance. Police said the driver of the truck had minor injuries, but was not taken to hospital.

RCMP Const. Robert Frizzell said the truck was a one-tonne Ford F-350.

Crossfield Mayor Nathan Anderson said the children attend Crossfield Elementary School, one of two schools in the community of 3,000.

"I am very concerned. Our prayers go out to those kids and families," Anderson said. "We just hope, God willing, they are all OK and will pull out of this without any lasting effects."

Frizzell said it's not yet known what caused the crash.

"We're not quite sure what the contributing factor to this collision was, whether that's limited visibility or road conditions or what's actually there," he said.

"We've contacted our collision reconstructionists out of Calgary to attend and determine that."

The school division immediately sent crisis counsellors to the schools in Crossfield.

"My heart goes out to the students and parents directly impacted by this incident. We are very concerned about the well-being of our school communities," said Susan William, acting superintendent of the Rocky View School Division.

Alberta's education minister also expressed concern.

"I understand that a number of children and the bus driver have been transported to medical facilities, where I know they will get the best level of care possible," said Jeff Johnson.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the families and school communities of all those involved in these unfortunate incidents."

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