Kelowna hospital calls Code Orange to deal with bus crash casualties
KELOWNA – Most of the still hospitalized passengers from Thursday’s tourist bus crash on the Coquihalla highway are being treated in the Okanagan.
Kelowna General Hospital took in 22 patients by helicopter and ambulance, calling in extra doctors and staff to help deal with the large influx of casualties.
Seven of the the patients have since been discharged while some of the others remain in critical and serious condition.
And the bus itself is now in Kelowna, being inspected for any mechanical problems with the emphasis on the steering and brakes.
Police have video of the crash and say excessive speed does not appear to be a factor.
Investigators say non-cognizant actions by the driver are a more likely cause.
“There’s no indication why he all of a sudden started to drive toward the centre median. As he entered the soft surface, the driver steered hard to the right and the bus started to rotate. It slid on its side across the three lanes and then righted itself when it hit the ditch,” says RCMP crash analyst Sgt Brian Nightingale.
Most of the passengers are from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
It was returning to Vancouver from a trip to the Rocky Mountains.
The chartered bus is owned by Western Bus Lines which is based in Kelowna.
Company officials are not commenting publicly.