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Students walk away from school bus crash in central Alberta: ‘I was terrified’

Click to play video: '10-year-old student describes Alberta school bus crash' 10-year-old student describes Alberta school bus crash
WATCH ABOVE: Grade 5 student, Shelby Roth, was on a school bus when it was involved in a crash with a pick-up truck. RCMP said no students were injured. Shelby describes the scary situation – Apr 11, 2018

A school bus was involved in a head-on collision in central Alberta on Wednesday morning but RCMP said none of the eight children on board was hurt.

Emergency crews were called to the scene of the collision on Highway 11A at Range Road 10 near Sylvan Lake at around 7:30 a.m.

READ MORE: Teenage girl killed in school bus crash north of Edmonton

“I was just eating my bagel and I heard these weird noises and then just, ‘Bang!’ This black Chevy had accidentally drifted and some part of his truck caught on our wheel,” said 10-year-old Shelby Roth, who was on the bus.

“I grabbed my stuff and we all got off the bus,” the Grade 5 student said. “The bus driver, she jumped out of her seat and she said: ‘Is everyone OK? Let’s get off the bus. Come on, let’s go.'”

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Shelby said the bus driver led all the students away from the road and the crash.

“I just felt so bad for the other guy … I was very scared. If it wasn’t for my bus driver, I don’t know where I would be right now.”

Click to play video: 'Students walk away from school bus crash in central Alberta' Students walk away from school bus crash in central Alberta
Students walk away from school bus crash in central Alberta – Apr 11, 2018

Police said the driver of a truck involved in the crash suffered undetermined injuries and had to be pulled from the vehicle. He was taken to hospital by an ambulance.

“He was trapped in the pickup truck [and] he had to be extricated,” Cpl. Laurel Scott said. “He was taken by ground ambulance to hospital, so I don’t know the extent of his injuries right now.”

RCMP said the driver of the school bus was not injured.

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A head-on collision was reported on Highway 11A at Range Road 10 near Sylvan Lake at around 7:30 a.m. April 11, 2018. Courtesy: rdnewsNOW/Troy Gillard
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A head-on collision was reported on Highway 11A at Range Road 10 near Sylvan Lake at around 7:30 a.m. April 11, 2018. Courtesy: rdnewsNOW/Troy Gillard
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A head-on collision was reported on Highway 11A at Range Road 10 near Sylvan Lake at around 7:30 a.m. April 11, 2018. Kendra Slugoski, Global News
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A head-on collision was reported on Highway 11A at Range Road 10 near Sylvan Lake at around 7:30 a.m. April 11, 2018. Kendra Slugoski, Global News
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The head-on collision took place on Highway 11A at Range Road 10 near Sylvan Lake at around 7:30 a.m. April 11, 2018. Charles Taylor, Global News
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The head-on collision took place on Highway 11A at Range Road 10 near Sylvan Lake at around 7:30 a.m. April 11, 2018. Charles Taylor, Global News

Representatives from Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools were also on scene. The bus was taking children to two different schools in Red Deer: St. Teresa of Avila (an elementary school) and École Camille J Lerouge (a French immersion elementary school). The division said the bus was just starting its pickups when the crash occurred. It said the bus is usually full but some children were driven to school on Wednesday.

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Highway 11A traffic was being re-routed in both directions but was reopened shortly after 1 p.m.

WATCH: Alberta school bus safety regulations

Shelby’s grandmother, Mary-Lynn Roth, heard the collision before she saw it.

“I heard a big bang and I shuttered down because I thought it was the house or something.

“I looked over and I could see the bus and I started screaming: ‘It was the bus! The bus was in an accident!’ I sent my husband and my daughter and said: ‘Go! Go! Go!’ I saw it from our house.”

Roth said the crash hit close to home.

READ MORE: ‘It’s past a nightmare:’ Father of Humboldt hockey crash survivor recalls seeing the carnage 

“That’s the worst nightmare. To see this bus accident — and my son spent so many years on the buses in Saskatchewan. He played Juniors and how blessed we were that it didn’t happen to him while he was riding the buses — and then this happened this morning and my heart just dropped.

“Those kids in Humboldt … When I saw the bus and saw it swerve over, I’m so grateful for that bus driver for keeping that bus on the road and keeping it straight.”

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Roth said she couldn’t have been more relieved to see Shelby was safe.

“[I gave her] the biggest hug in the world. So grateful and thankful. And I gave the bus driver a hug first.”

Scott said, given the current climate, news of a bus crash could put many Albertans on edge.

“We always ask drivers to drive very carefully, no matter what other vehicles are on the road.

“But I can appreciate there’s a heightened public interest when it’s a school bus with young children. We all care so much about young children and we are sensitive right now, I understand that.”

— with files from Global’s Slav Kornik

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