Amid questions about icy roads, BC Bus Crash Investigation also investigates previous incidents

British Columbia’s Minister of Transport bus crash It claims four lives were lost on the Okanagan Connector Road on Christmas Eve, but it is also reviewing another incident involving the same operator a few days earlier.

Minister Rob Fleming said Tuesday that a maintenance contractor had been plowing and salting the road, also known as Highway 97C. crash It also injured dozens of people.

According to the RCMP investigator’s statement, busIt is operated by Alberta-based Ebus.

it says bus I was traveling west from Kelowna B.C.., headed off the road towards Merritt, crossed the median, flipped over to the passenger side and stopped in the eastbound lane.

Police now say 46 people are believed to have been on board bus, including drivers. In previous reports, that number was 50.

Fleming said seven heavy machinery were maintaining the road on the day of the accident. crash And “low precipitation”.

His remarks at the press conference come amid concerns about road conditions ahead. crash.

Police say an investigation is ongoing, but extreme icy road conditions are believed to be the cause of the rollover.

In a statement Tuesday, B.C.According to the RCMP, road conditions were “fluid, transitioning from clear wet roads to icy surfaces with ice and snow due to changes in time of day (sunset) and weather conditions.” is.

Police said it was raining and hail.

Kelowna resident Gord Bizzutti said he bought an Ebus ticket for the same route on Dec. crash.

He said bus The one he boarded was apparently contracted by another operator.

Fleming said investigators from the department’s Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement Team are investigating both incidents, but have no answer as to what caused Christmas Eve. crash yet.

“There are so many questions that people, myself included, are looking for answers to. Today, we don’t have answers to them. Putting investigators to work, what could have contributed to such a devastating and tragic event.” I have to report about,” Fleming said.

He states that publicly released state investigations include: busits brakes, tires and light system.

Fleming said “road men were on site” plowing and salting the roads and “working around the clock”, reporting regularly to the ministry on Christmas Eve on the condition. rice field.

He said the road was being treated within contract specifications set by the ministry.

“There were warnings about winter driving conditions,” Fleming said in a connector, resulting in “much less traffic” than normal on the roads.

The minister said he didn’t. bus She shouldn’t have gone out, but “the advice we gave was to think about travel and see if it’s necessary.”

The Department of Transportation’s travel advisory, issued via the DriveBC information portal, went into effect Tuesday for the Okanagan Connector, warning drivers to beware of “heavy snow, freezing rain” and avoid non-essential travel. did.

Vizzutti and his wife, Patricia Rockwell, purchased eBus tickets and boarded the connection after leaving Kelowna around 7am on December 20th.

“Within minutes, we bus I slipped, I slipped a little bit and my wife commented that I almost hit the guardrail,” he said.

His wife texted her son in Vancouver saying she wasn’t comfortable busAbout 45 minutes later, he said the driver was nearly hit by a pickup truck, made a sharp turn, and walked a few inches away.

“I heard gasps from the people inside busThe driver turned around and said, “Everyone okay?” His wife Patricia replied, ‘Well, I wish you had taken it a little longer. “

About 20 minutes later, bus I sandwiched a semi-trailer truck.

Vizzutti said his wife had a cut on her forehead, glass in her eyes and mouth, and suffered bruises and a concussion.

They were traveling to Vancouver and had planned a short stopover before heading to Arizona to celebrate Christmas in the sun with their family.

“But of course it didn’t happen.”

he and his wife bus crash Ruined Christmas, he said, just to experience and deal with their hurt.

“I was happy to stay in that state until Christmas morning. I woke up to read this terrible news. bus crash in the same way bus The company is on the same street. Of course, it had far worse consequences and our hearts were torn apart.

According to Bizzutti, his message to Ebus drivers is to “slow down.”

“Just to be clear, stop and wait for things to improve, or if things are that bad and you realize it from the start, don’t do it,” he said. “Don’t leave, stay by my side”

Ebus suspended it all bus root B.C.Boxing Day “due to worsening weather conditions,” according to a statement posted on social media.

The route resumed on Tuesday.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Physically he’s fine, but “mentally, it’s a whole different story,” Vizzutti said. bus in a few days.

he can’t imagine their mental health bus It crashed Christmas Eve.

“A life-changing event for so many people. That’s for sure.”

canadian press