Two boys sustained critical, life-threatening injuries in a crash involving a school bus and semi truck in Spruce Grove, west of Edmonton, Friday morning.
While RCMP initially said the three children and two adults who were hurt were all in stable condition, the latest information from Alberta Health Services at 10:30 a.m. was that two boys were more seriously injured than had previously been reported by police.
The crash at Diamond Avenue and Golden Spike Road happened around 8:15 a.m.
Only three children were on board the Parkland School Division bus at the time of the collision. All are believed to be between the ages of eight and 13.
The third student, a girl, was treated at the scene and taken to hospital by family.
The drivers – a woman in her 60s and a man in his 40s – were hospitalized in “serious but stable condition,” the health agency said.
A nearby business owner and a colleague were two of several people who rushed to provide aid.
“I saw two children [out of the bus]. There was one lying in the intersection, and the one here,” Chris Heyligers told CTV News Edmonton, pointing to a ditch behind her.
“There was quite a bit of blood on his face and his hands. He was awake, though,” she said, speaking about an hour after the crash.
“I’m still vibrating. And I actually cried. It was very upsetting to me. I’m traumatized because anybody that has kids, or anybody that has a heart, when they see a child injured you feel very helpless.”
What caused the crash is not known.
When CTV News Edmonton arrived on scene, the semi was lying on its side off the roadway and the school bus appeared to have sustained significant damage to its passenger side.
RCMP closed the area to traffic. A collision analyst team had been called in to investigate.
INTERSECTION TROUBLED: COMMUNITY MEMBER
As Heyligers surveyed the debris around her, she recalled writing to the City of Spruce Grove several years ago with concerns about the intersection.
“I have seen multiple – and I mean multiple – accidents. Like, sometimes twice a month. Sometimes they’re just minor. I’ve seen, you know, a couple of vehicles flipped over. A few years ago, there was a minivan that had flipped over a couple of times. Yeah, it’s just constant,” she told CTV News Edmonton.
She says the city told her five years ago that the intersection had been deemed safe.
“That is one of the reasons that I’m vibrating,” Heyligers said.
“I’m hoping now that the city will take notice and actually do something… You know, in a lot of cases, I’ve seen intersections where there were just too many accidents and they finally did something. Like, people have to die first? I don’t know. This is as close to death. They escaped death [today]. Thank God.”
CTV News Edmonton is reaching out to the City of Spruce Grove for comment.
Parkland School Division dispatched its trauma response team to support the students and families involved, as well as those at school.
This is a developing news story. Information will be updated as it becomes available.