A teen driver is in critical condition after a crash with a school bus Tuesday.
St. Pierre Jolys RCMP were called to the crash between the bus, which was taking students to swimming lessons, and a passenger vehicle at the Otterburne turnoff on Hwy. 59 around 12:30 p.m.
Police said the driver of the other vehicle had to be extricated. STARS Air Ambulance confirmed they were called to the scene of the crash and airlifted the driver, a male in his teens, to Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg.
STARS said the boy was in critical condition when taken to hospital.
Highway 59 remained closed until shortly before 4 p.m.
The father of one of the students told 680 CJOB his daughter was taken to hospital in Steinbach for precautionary reasons, after she banged up a knee that was already affected by arthritis.
Devin Penner said he didn’t hear about the accident until about 40 minutes after it occurred, once his daughter was already in the ambulance.
“I’m sure they’ve got their procedures,” said Penner.
Penner said his understanding of the incident was that a car tried to pass the bus, couldn’t make it in time, and then hit the side of the bus. That information has not been confirmed by police.
“The kids all flew up in the air I guess, or a bunch of them, and the bus driver got it under control,” he said.
“I guess that means they have a pretty good bus driver.”
Julien Remillard says he came to pick up his 9-year-old grandson at the Institut Collégial St. Pierre after hearing about what happened.
“He seems to be OK, but he doesn’t talk much,” Remillard said.
“He looks alright, but he’s going to be disturbed for a few days.”
Red River Valley School Division confirmed to Global News the bus is one of theirs, but didn’t say which school it is from. We have reached out to the division’s superintendent for more information.
A caller to Global News said he saw seven ambulances and the air ambulance attending to the crash.
Otterburne is 44 km south of Winnipeg.