Students unharmed after school bus-van collision

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Corporate News

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A Palliser bus driver and six students emerged unharmed after a vehicle hit their stopped school bus Monday afternoon east of Coalhurst.

The collision occurred about 3:45 p.m. on Highway 25 near Range Road 9-2.

A Palliser Regional Schools bus was pulled over to the side of the highway with lights flashing and stop arm extended while dropping off a student after school. David Shaw, Palliser transportation services supervisor, said it appears all safety protocols were followed by the bus driver.

None of the students on the bus, all from schools in Coalhurst, nor the bus driver suffered injuries.

The bus was struck from behind by a mini-van travelling the same direction, clipping it on the back left corner. The bus suffered significant damage and the students were taken home on another bus. All parents were contacted.

If any students have anxiety or issues related to the collision, they or their parents are asked to talk to their principal to arrange for counselling or other support.

Palliser school buses cover some 1.8 million kilometres on 58 routes each year. Shaw said this is the first collision involving a Palliser bus travelling a school route in two years.

School officials are co-operating with RCMP as they continue their investigation. An internal review will follow if questions remain after the police investigation.

Palliser Regional Schools officials are thankful no students were injured and remind drivers to keep an eye out for students being picked up or dropped off before or after school.

“We got off lucky. No one lost a life,” said Shaw.

Palliser Regional Schools recently wrapped up its fourth annual Think of Us on the Bus safety campaign, which encourages motorists to stop when they see a bus with red lights flashing and stop arm extended.

So far this year there have been 14 reported instances where vehicles have passed a Palliser bus stopped with its red lights flashing.