REDWATER, Alta. – An Alberta school superintendent says the death of a teenage girl in a collision between a school bus and a semi truck north of Edmonton has devastated the small community.
Police and paramedics responded to the crash that happened around 8 a.m. Wednesday in Thorhild County near Redwater.
“EMS pronounced one teenage female deceased at the scene,” said Kirsten Goruk, a spokeswoman for Alberta Health Services in Edmonton.
Fourteen patients were assessed by paramedics and no one else was transported to hospital, she said.
Police said the preliminary investigation has determined the school bus had just turned southbound on to a road when it was rear-ended by the semi.
The bus was carrying 13 students on the way to Thorhild Central School. The driver declined to comment when reached by phone.
“This is an immeasurable loss and tragedy for our entire community,” Aspen View Public Schools Superintendent Mark Francis told The Canadian Press. “Thorhild is that small Alberta town where everyone knows everyone so a tragedy like this impacts the entire community.
“We have a grieving mom and dad and family, grieving neighbours and community, and grieving staff and students — this is a tragedy that impacts our community to its soul.”
The girl’s name has not been released, but Francis said she was a well-loved student.
“A whole school grieves for her,” he said.
About 300 students from kindergarten to Grade 12 attend the school.
Francis said counselling is being offered to staff and students, including the other students who were on the bus at the time of the collision.
Police said they continue to investigate the crash.
“It was foggy, very foggy conditions reported this morning during the time of the collision and even for a couple hours after,” Cpl. Ronald Bumbry of the RCMP said Wednesday afternoon. “We look at all contributing factors … definitely weather may have played a factor in this one.”
No charges have been laid in the collision, he said.
— By Colette Derworiz in Edmonton