School bus crash in Edmonton sends 12 to hospital, 2 with broken bones

EDMONTON — Twelve people, including 11 children, were taken to hospital Thursday after a school bus crash on one of Edmonton’s busiest freeways.

Emergency officials said the collision happened at about 8:15 a.m. on Whitemud Drive near the Quesnell Bridge over the North Saskatchewan River.

Alberta Health Services said there were no life-threatening injuries.

“Two patients suffered broken bones. All patients were in stable condition,” Sabrina Atwal, a spokeswoman for the health agency, said in an email.

Edmonton police said in a news release that the bus was the only vehicle involved in the crash. It was heading west when it hit a concrete retaining wall on the east side of the freeway.

Police said 12 other children were not injured and were taken to school.

Megan Normandeau, a spokeswoman for Edmonton Public Schools, said the Golden Arrow bus was on the way to Meadowlark, Rio Terrace and Lynnwood schools.

“Transportation safety personnel from Edmonton Public Schools and Golden Arrow are on site and parents of the children involved are being contacted directly,” she said. “Safety is our top priority, both at school and on the bus.”

Normandeau said they will work with Golden Arrow and police to determine what happened.

A general manager for Golden Arrow said an initial statement from the bus driver, who likely suffered some broken bones, indicated he had been cut off.

“He claims that a motor transport vehicle had come across and caught the front left of the school bus,” said Brian Hauptman, who is responsible for school bus operations. “He manoeuvred the bus to get out of its way and struck the wall.

“There is damage on the left side that I can see,” he added.

Police said their investigation into the crash is also continuing.

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