Edmonton school bus crashes into retaining wall, injuring 11 students and driver

Eleven students and the driver of a school bus were taken to hospital Thursday morning after it crashed into a retaining wall on Whitemud Drive in Edmonton.

The driver of the Golden Arrow bus and the injured children were taken to hospital and listed in stable condition, said Kerry Williamson, spokesperson for Alberta Health Services.

Two children suffered broken bones, Williamson said.

A total of 23 children were on the bus. The uninjured children were transported to their schools, police said.

An EMS bus, which transports multiple patients, took the injured children to Stollery Children’s Hospital and the driver to University Hospital, said Chris Chantler, EMS operations supervisor.

“This is exactly why we have it,” Chantler said. “With this many patients, it can tax resources very quickly. The bus is a great resource.”

In a crash such as this involving many children, there is an “emotional challenge” for emergency personnel, Chantler said.

A school bus crashed into a retaining wall in the city’s southwest Thursday morning.

The children were being driven to Meadowlark, Rio Terrace and Lynnwood schools, according to Edmonton Public Schools (EPS); they were not on a field trip.

“Transportation safety personnel from Edmonton Public Schools and Golden Arrow are on-site. Parents of the children involved are being contacted directly,” EPS said in a statement. 

The driver says he was cut off, according to a general manager at Golden Arrow. 

Brian Hauptman, who is responsible for school bus operations, said in a statement the driver claims the other vehicle “had come across and caught the front left of the school bus.” 

“He manoeuvred the bus to get out of its way and struck the wall. There is damage on the left side that I can see,” he added. 

The driver likely suffered some broken bones, Hauptman said. Police are investigating.

Fire rescue crews, EMS and police were called to the crash west on the Whitemud near the 149th Street exit around 8:30 a.m. local time.

Traffic on the route was down to two lanes late morning Thursday.

The bus was not on a school trip when it hit the retaining wall on Whitemud Drive. (David Bajer/CBC)

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