Vancouver, British Columbia — June 29, 2015 — Over 30 people were injured after a tour bus and a tow truck collided on B.C.’s Coquihalla Highway late last week.
Global News reports the Mario’s Towing truck was roadside and in the process of hauling a small red car when it was struck by a Universal Coach Lines bus at around 10 a.m. on June 27. The collision occurred near Brookmere, around 250 km northeast of Vancouver.
Several of the 30 passengers aboard the bus were reportedly ejected from the vehicle, and a total of 38 victims suffered non life-threatening injuries resulting from the crash — including the tow operator, bus driver and both of the car’s occupants. Emergency workers in 12 ambulances and four helicopters were on hand to transport patients to nearby hospitals in Kelowna, Kamloops, Merritt, Hope and Chilliwack.
All three vehicles sustained heavy damage, and the wreckage from the crash closed all northbound lanes and reduced southbound traffic for most of the day.
C.J. Hodgson, who witnessed the accident, says the rear end of the car was smashed and the tow truck’s hood was dislodged and its rear towing equipment flattened, but it was the bus that took the brunt of the impact.
“The front third or so of the bus is either ripped off or smashed in. It’s wide open. You can see into the bus,” Hodgson said in the report.
Merritt RCMP say charges are pending and the investigation, which includes looking into the actions of the bus driver, is ongoing. Officers also advised motorists of the province’s Move Over law, which aims to protect roadside workers.
“Police would like to remind persons of the ‘Slow down, move over’ legislation that requires vehicles to slow to 70 km/h and move over when passing emergency vehicles and tow trucks,” Sgt. Mike Pears said in a statement.
Cpl. Chris Newel added that while many were injured, the overall result is a fortunate one.
“Given the type of collision that took place and the vehicles that were there, it could have been much worse,” Newel said in the report.