Palliser school bus enters ditch

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Corporate News

A Palliser Regional Schools’ bus taking children home for the day Friday went off the road in icy conditions in the Vulcan area.

The driver and all eight passengers, who were being taken home from two Vulcan schools, were able to exit the bus after it entered the ditch and landed on its side. A Palliser bus travelling a nearby route was dispatched to the scene to pick up the driver and passengers – from County Central High School and Vulcan Prairieview Elementary School – and get them out of the elements.

Parents of the students onboard were contacted and emergency personnel arrived quickly at the scene. Three students were transported to a Calgary hospital for further examination while the others and the driver were taken to hospital in Vulcan as a precautionary measure.

The incident happened just after just after 1 p.m. just east of Highway 23 in the Milo area. The matter has been turned over to the RCMP for further investigation.  An internal review will follow if questions remain after the police investigation.

If any students have anxiety or other issues related to the incident, they or their parents are asked to talk to their principal to arrange for counselling or other support when school resumes Wednesday. In addition to the Thanksgiving Day long weekend, students are off Tuesday as Palliser staff gather for a division-wide professional development day.

Should students require more immediate assistance or support, the following community services are available to help:

  • Vulcan Regional Victim Services: 403-485-6163
  • Vulcan Community Mental Health: 1-877-652-4700
  • Distress Line of Southern Alberta (24 hour phone support): 1-888-787-2880
  • Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868

Parents of children involved in such incidents should provide basic information about the event but should not go into great detail. Initially, the child may experience symptoms of shock and parents should be accessible during this time.

Should a child want to discuss the events, they should be allowed to express their feelings. Parents can validate their feelings and assure them those feelings are typical.

Each day Palliser bus drivers cover a total of about 10,000 kilometres, or more than a million kilometres every year. The safety of the 1,800 students taken to and from school on a daily basis is the highest priority. Each fall Palliser delivers its “Think of Us on the Bus” safety campaign to every elementary school student.