I was driving to work this morning, traveling north on Crowchild Trail, when I noticed traffic backing up. As I got closer I realized that it was not due to an accident on my side of the divider, but people rubber-necking at an accident on the other side. There were six or seven cars by the side of the road along with a short school bus and a gravel truck, but I didn't see much in the way of damage. And I must have missed being an eyewitness by mere minutes since the police hadn't arrived yet (an unmarked police van, undoutedly generating cash for the city playing photoradar possum, whizzed by me to get to the scene).
That was until I was going past the gravel truck. On the back end was a yellow school bus panel. I realized what must have happened. The school bus must have sideswiped the gravel truck, shearing the whole right side of the bus off the vehicle in one piece and others had stopped to help out. Once that was clear I hoped no children were on the bus. Unfortunately, my fears were realized. There were 11 special-needs children on the bus on their way to a private school. Two were taken to the Calgary Children's Hospital in critical condition and three others in serious condition. One of those in criticial condition, an 8-year old girl, succumbed to her injuries later in the morning.
To those that stopped to help out I say thank you. I would have myself, but those that know Crowchild will understand how dangerous that would be. It wouldn't be the first time I had been first on the scene of a serious accident and had to care for the injured, but that's another story. My thoughts and those of my wife go out to the victims and their families.
The full news story can be read here. It's hard to believe, but the bus looked completely undamaged from my viewing angle.