'I'm just thankful that the community came together': Mom credits bystanders for rescuing son in wheelchair from tipped bus
EDMONTON -- Thirty-four students were on a school bus Monday morning when it rolled near Highway 779 on Forest Drive north of Stony Plain. But despite the dramatic image of the crash, no serious injuries were reported.
"The bus was stopped to load a student," Golden Arrow School Bus General Manager Brian Hauptman told CTV News Edmonton. "The student loaded, and then the driver pulled away from that stop, so she took her foot off the brake and put it in neutral, and the bus just kept sliding at a slow slow speed. Unfortunately because the ditch was so steep, you could see it in slow motion; slowly go over on its side.”
Emergency crews, school employees and members of the community arrived quickly on scene and helped to unload all the children. Some suffered scrapes and bruises, but no one was seriously injured.
Amy Quintal’s 11-year-old son Brock is one of the students who were on the bus. Brock is non-verbal and uses a wheelchair. She said she received a call from Brock’s aide shortly after she put him on the bus Monday morning about the crash.
“Said a little prayer, went on my way to get him. It could have been much worse,” she told CTV News Edmonton.
She said Brock was already off the bus by the time she arrived.
“They had already gotten all the students off safely, they got Brock off safely.”
Brock’s chair is secured in the bus with four straps, and he also wears a transportation belt. Quintal says he was completely unscathed after the crash.
“I’m just thankful that the community came together.”
Students on the bus were being transported to several schools in the area including Muir Lake School. The children on the bus ranged in age from kindergarten to high school.
Parkland School Division says icy road conditions caused the rollover.
Police initially reported that 35 students were on board at the time of the crash. Golden Arrow Buses says there were 34 students and one driver.
With files from CTV News Edmonton’s David Ewasuk