A survivor of a Vancouver Island bus crash on Friday that killed two University of Victoria students says change is needed to prevent a repeat of the tragedy.
Sarah Hunter’s comments come the same day that survivors, friends and family gathered at the university to remember the victims.
“For some reason, I remember it all,” Hunter told Global News on Tuesday, describing rain, darkness and a bumpy road filled with potholes.
“For a second it just felt like we were teetering and the air was silent. And then like, in that moment, we went all the way over.”
The bus skidded off the privately maintained, industrial road that connects the remote community of Bamfield when it was about 40 kilometres south of Port Alberni.
WATCH: Calls for change after deadly bus crash
“When we did hit the ground it was just like this giant, jarring crash. Glass breaking, people screaming, the sound of luggage and bodies — it was horrific,” she said.
“I could see the glass break beside me and just get shot under the bus because we were still sliding. The dirt and the trees and the roots were all travelling beside my face, literally inches away.”
Amazingly, she escaped relatively unscathed.
But Emma Machado and John Geerdes, both 18 years old, died. Seventeen of the 45 University of Victoria students on the bus were taken to hospital.
Hunter was sitting behind Machado and Geerdes when the crash happened.
WATCH: Road safety questioned after fatal bus crash near Bamfield
In the wake of the crash, Hunter is hoping to bring attention to the state of the road, and the fact that it is regularly used to transport students to the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre.
It’s an issue that has also troubled Emma Machado’s grieving parents.
“If we knew the conditions of the road, we probably would have told her not to go,” Machado’s father Jose told Global News.
“It looks like a very unsafe road to travel.”
Hoping to harness those concerns, Hunter has started an online petition demanding that politicians make repairs and upgrades to the road.
In just a few days, the initiative has racked up nearly 1,500 signatures.
“I don’t want these two students’ lives to be lost in vain, so what I am trying to do through this petition is improve the condition of that road,” she said.
“Because I know, and lots of people know, how treacherous it is. Even on the best days it’s not that great.”