One person remains in hospital following a collision at a rural Saskatchewan intersection that left a bus carrying pipeline workers on its side in the ditch.
Ten workers were injured when the school-type bus collided with a semi-truck hauling canola in Kerrobert on Friday afternoon, 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. 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, and police said the bus came to rest on its side. “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.
The crash came 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 intersection. Sixteen people, including 10 players, were killed and 13 players were injured in that crash, which also happened on a Friday afternoon.
RCMP did not release the nature or extent of the injuries in the Kerrobert crash, but said in a news release Saturday that none were considered life-threatening. They also noted that the driver of the truck – which was hauling two trailers of canola – and the woman who was driving the bus were not hurt.
Three people were taken to a hospital in Saskatoon by helicopter, and seven others were taken to local hospitals, police said. Four were treated at the scene.
Chris Bunz, a resident of nearby Unity, Sask., 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.
RCMP said they’re still investigating the crash, but said they don’t believe at this point that alcohol was a factor. Cpl. Rob King said the driver of the semi was licenced to haul the double rig.
Stuckless, meanwhile, said the bus, which his company leased for its crews, was equipped with seatbelts.
He said four of O.J. Pipelines’ own emergency staff went to the scene and assisted local first responders.
Bunz 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.
The driver of the truck involved in the April collision, 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.