Six children, two adults hurt in head-on crash with chartered bus in Stayner, Ont.
Published Friday, February 2, 2018 3:06PM EST Last Updated Friday, February 2, 2018 9:00PM EST
Six children and two adults have been transported to several hospitals after a two-vehicle collision in Stayner, Ont. on Friday afternoon.
The incident took place in the area of Highway 26 and Nottawasaga Sideroad 27/28 at around 2 p.m.
Ornge initially said about 12 children were seriously injured in a crash involving a school bus and a minivan.
However, OPP Sgt. Peter Leon told CP24 that a chartered motor coach and a passenger van were involved in the collision.
Following the crash, Leon said he could not confirm any injuries but OPP later confirmed that eight people were transported to hospital with injuries.
One child, a ten-year-old, is in critical condition while all seven other occupants of the vehicle are now in serious but stable condition.
OPP Central Division officers later tweeted the six children were between the ages of 4 and 15.
Leon said those transported to hospital included two four-year-olds, an eight-year-old, two ten-year-olds, a 15-year-old and two adults. He said the occupants of the minivan were from “out of the country.”
He also suggested snow squalls in the area may have had an impact on driving conditions.
Ornge sent five aircraft to the scene to transport patients, including two fixed wing planes and three helicopters. Additional land ambulances were dispatched to the scene as well.
Simcoe County Paramedics’ Deputy Chief J.C. Gilbert told CP24 all those transported were taken to Collingwood General and Marine Hospital to be treated for their various injuries. He said all were in critical condition.
An official with Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto later told CTV News Toronto that they were receiving multiple pediatric patients and had declared a mass casualty incident, internally referred to as a Code Orange, to deal with them.
Five patients eventually arrived at the hospital.
Clearview Township’s Fire Chief said in a tweet that five people inside a minivan suffered serious injuries in the crash and required extrication, while minor injuries were sustained to a number of teens on the bus involved.
The Fire Chief added that 41 teens, three adult chaperones and one bus driver were on board the chartered bus at the time and none of them were transported to hospital. Those on the bus were Hamilton residents on their way back from a trip to Blue Mountain, he said.
The president of the chartered bus company Attridge Transportation, Glenn Attridge, told CP24 he gathered information about the crash through his driver who was operating the bus involved.
“The details we have been given is that our bus was returning from Blue Mountain ski resort to Hamilton with high school students,” he said. “Our vehicle was travelling southbound when a northbound vehicle containing about seven or eight passengers crossed over and hit the front of our motor coach severely impacting that vehicle and the motor coach as well.”
“It was unavoidable.”
Attridge said the driver was “pretty shook up” after the crash.
“Something like this affects all drivers of commercial vehicles,” he said. “When a vehicle comes across in front of them and there is really nothing they can do.”
He added that the passengers on board the bus at the time are waiting for another bus from his company to come pick them up to continue their journey back to Hamilton.
The principal of St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School, Sara Cannon, in Hamilton said all parents of the students on the bus have been contacted.
“We are awaiting our students’ return,” she said. “Our school and our school board is ready to support in any way our students and our staff need.”
“Our prayers as a school community go out to the occupants of the other vehicle that was involved in the collision.”
Local officials in Stayner opened up their town arena to serve as a warming centre for those displaced by the collision while they waited for transportation.
A section of Highway 26 was closed for most of Friday but reopened around 8 p.m.
Update: 8 people transport to hospital by @simcoecountyPS in serious condition, Fire extricated 5 patients— Fire Chief (@ClearviewFire) February 2, 2018