P.E.I. RCMP still working to determine what happened in Friday's school bus crash

·3 min read
RCMP say the school bus collided with a white SUV at the intersection of Kingston and Bannockburn Road. (Sheehan Desjardins/CBC News - image credit)
RCMP say the school bus collided with a white SUV at the intersection of Kingston and Bannockburn Road. (Sheehan Desjardins/CBC News - image credit)

P.E.I. RCMP is continuing to investigate what took place in a school bus accident on Friday that resulted in the vehicle flipped on its side and children in hospital.

"It's a little scary, because I mean you're dealing with young children," said Sgt. Craig Eveleigh.

"When a bus turns over, you can just look inside, or picture inside that the children are going to fall from a seat. So it's very scary for a parent as well."

According to Eveleigh, the bus carrying 27 students from Westwood Primary School and Eliot River Elementary was travelling west on Kingston Road. It collided with an SUV driving north on Bannockburn Road around 3:45 p.m.

"We're just trying to determine what happened," he said.

"We're taking various statements from witnesses that saw the event, statements from the bus driver, statements from the person driving the white SUV."

Three daughters on bus

Jolene Richardson is calling the accident her "worst nightmare." She had three children riding that bus home from school.

"When I realized that they were in the accident on Friday, the bottom just dropped out of everything," she said.

Steve Bruce/CBC News
Steve Bruce/CBC News

Richardson was at work when rumours of an accident started circulating.

"At first I thought 'oh dear, that's terrible. Kids and a bus. But then the rumours started to change that it was out in Kingston area and, of course, that's where my children drive home," she said.

Richardson quickly called her husband only to find out the girls still weren't home. After contacting the school, she was informed that her daughters were, indeed, on the bus that flipped over — but thankfully did not require hospital care.

Submitted by Jolene Richardson
Submitted by Jolene Richardson

"Of course, your mind always goes to the worst place but you try to pull it back," she said.

"My whole world was on that bus and for them to have help so fast, that was wonderful."

'Could've been a lot worse'

Island EMS, North River Fire Department and police responded to the scene. Although Sgt. Craig Eveleigh said the white SUV "sustained considerable damage" the driver and its five passengers were not injured.

CBC News did learn that one child on the school bus was airlifted to Halifax and two others were treated at the QEH. All were considered stable.

Steve Bruce/CBC News
Steve Bruce/CBC News

"It could've been a lot worse. If anybody had have been T-boned, or if the speeds were greater, just depending on how the collision occurred," said Eveleigh.

"I'm a parent myself of two young children. I can just imagine the panic that the parents of the children on that bus are going through, not knowing if their child is one of the ones injured."

'Most kids came back on the bus'

Both Eliot River and Westwood schools had extra supports on hand Monday.

Terra Doucette, the principal of Eliot River, said most students involved in the accident seem to be doing well.

"We were really happy to hear that most kids came back on the bus and we were there to greet the buses this morning and kids were getting off and happy," said Doucette.

"They were bounding off with lots of energy and that made me feel so much better because I knew they were feeling comfortable and safe today."

Steve Bruce/ CBC News
Steve Bruce/ CBC News

Also riding the bus Monday was the bus driver.

"She wasn't driving but she wanted to make sure that she was there, that the kids would see her face when she got on the bus today because a lot of them were worried about her too."

RCMP say once witness statements are reviewed, police will determine what they believe took place in Kingston on Friday afternoon.

Eveleigh said he hopes to have the investigation wrapped up sometime this week.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting