UPDATE: 18 charges laid in fatal Highway 63 crash from October

Scene of a fatal collision between a passenger bus and a vehicle on highway 63. October 28, 2014. Courtesy: RCMP

EDMONTON — The driver of a bus involved in a crash that left two people dead and several others seriously injured is now facing 18 criminal offences.

After a lengthy investigation and consultation with the Crown, Kaliappan Subramaniam of Fort McMurray was charged with 18 offences, including dangerous driving causing death, criminal negligence causing death, dangerous driving causing bodily harm and criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

Around 8:15 p.m. on Oct. 28, 2014 a bus heading north on Highway 63 carrying workers to a Fort McMurray work site collided with a passenger Jeep heading south.

The crash happened on an undivided section of Highway 63 near Mariana Lake, which is about 100 kilometres south of Fort McMurray.

Boyle RCMP said the 20-seater shuttle bus was carrying eight workers to a camp.

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The two men in the Jeep died on scene. One person in the bus was critically injured and was flown to an Edmonton hospital in life-threatening condition.

Several other bus passengers were treated for less severe injuries.

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The highway was closed until around 4 a.m. Tuesday, while a collision analyst investigated. Traffic was diverted to Highway 881 and Highway 55.

The accused is set to appear in Boyle Provincial Court on April 28.

The busy highway connects the booming northern oilsands region to the rest of Alberta.

The province is in the process of dividing the busy thoroughfare, which earned the nickname ‘highway of death’ due to the alarming number of serious collisions that have occurred. Between 1990 and 2012, more than 125 people died on the 240 kilometre stretch of road.

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In early October the Alberta government awarded a $70 million contract to complete the final undivided section.

READ MORE: Twinning of Alberta’s ‘Highway of Death’ on track for 2016

The province expects that to be completed by fall of 2016.

*NOTE: This article was originally posted on Oct. 29, 2014 and was updated on March 24, 2015 to include the charged laid.

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