Four dead in a bus crash on Connector Hwy 97

my5cents
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Re: Four dead in a bus crash on Connector Hwy 97

Post by my5cents »

cjszalka wrote: Dec 30th, 2022, 9:13 am When weather conditions become so dangerous that maintenance to keep a highway driveable that highway needs to be shut down in my opinion. Such a heartbreaking time for everyone.
It's a tough call when the Highway Dept is dealing with hundreds of kms of roadway in varying altitudes with varying conditions (like cross winds blowing snow). If they close the Connector (for example) when any one km stretch is dicey, they could be closing it at times of the year 50% of the time.

I remember one spring day driving the Connector, coming back to Kelowna from Merritt. Sunny breaks, above freezing, some wet roads some dryish. Crested a rise and right as I got to the little plateau on top there was 2-3 inches of slush all over the roadway. I was going a reasonable speed for the condition prior to the slush. Luckily for me there was a track through the slush, another vehicle had blazed a trail through it. I took my foot off the accelerator (no braking) and gingerly followed the track for a 100 or so meters until my speed had reduced. Without the track, I don't know how I would have done.

I had just driven from Kelowna to Merritt and was returning, minutes later, so had been driving the same stretch in the other direction  ? 30 minutes earlier, with no sign of snow/slush.

For example the Connector is 130 kms. In a certain area, the roads are dicey, you close the road you are closing 130 kms of road. Like stopping a train, you don't stop one train car you stop the train.

It's a tough call.
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Re: Four dead in a bus crash on Connector Hwy 97

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thesportinglife wrote: Dec 30th, 2022, 1:06 amBull ! How a driver interacts with the passengers tarnishes the brand or makes it shine !
And I agreed with you, but that still has nothing to do with the accident other than the unsubstantiated assumption on your behalf that you seeing a driver "yelling" at passengers equates to a driver involved in an accident. These are two different things.
thesportinglife wrote: Dec 30th, 2022, 1:06 amThe "brush" was broad enough to kill four human beings !
They're not interrelated regardless of how many times you parrot the same nonsensical narrative.
GordonH wrote: Dec 30th, 2022, 1:54 am If the police investigation finds the Driver responsible for this tragedy, hopefully the courts will charge the Driver full sentence according to the law.

If the investigation finds poor highway maintenance procedures was the cause of this tragedy, the Families should then go after highway Maintenance Contractor.
I agree, let the investigation take place and go from there. If it was driver error, then take appropriate action against the driver. If there was a mechanical failure or improper equipment, then take appropriate action against the company. If the road maintenance was the issue, then the road cleaning standards need to be re-examined.
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Re: Four dead in a bus crash on Connector Hwy 97

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If road maintenance was the issue, I automatically have to wonder how so many emergency response vehicles made it there safely from quite a distance?

Also it has been stated several times in the articles addressing this crash, that there were seven pieces of equipment working on the road in question, and that the work was up to ministry prescribed standards.

No contractor nor ministry of highways staff, for those who liked them better, can be working under ever changing storm circumstances, and provide summer time road conditions as it seems some expect.

Most understand that high mountain passes are treacherous in winter.

This would also be why many sections across the province, have barriers in place that are dropped down to close the road, when conditions get far too dangerous, or avalanche control is underway.
Last edited by Urban Cowboy on Dec 30th, 2022, 3:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Four dead in a bus crash on Connector Hwy 97

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Urban Cowboy wrote: Dec 30th, 2022, 3:27 pm If road maintenance was the issue, I automatically have to wonder how so many emergency response vehicles made it there safely from quite a distance?

Also it has been stated several times in the articles addressing this crash, that there were seven pieces of equipment working on the road in question, and that the work was up to ministry prescribed standards.
Just to be clear, I'm not saying that road maintenance was the issue, but it could have been a factor that the investigation will look into and if the investigation (not saying that there it will) does find that the maintenance was not up to standards or that the standards need to be changed, then that would need to be addressed.
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Re: Four dead in a bus crash on Connector Hwy 97

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Saviour wrote: Dec 30th, 2022, 3:32 pm
Urban Cowboy wrote: Dec 30th, 2022, 3:27 pm If road maintenance was the issue, I automatically have to wonder how so many emergency response vehicles made it there safely from quite a distance?

Also it has been stated several times in the articles addressing this crash, that there were seven pieces of equipment working on the road in question, and that the work was up to ministry prescribed standards.
Just to be clear, I'm not saying that road maintenance was the issue, but it could have been a factor that the investigation will look into and if the investigation (not saying that there it will) does find that the maintenance was not up to standards or that the standards need to be changed, then that would need to be addressed.
100% the issue was road maintenance. I was driving to Merrit and back from lake country for two weeks prior to the accident. Most days were sunny, but still 6”of ice on the road. And bare in spots yea but when you’re driving along and the transition from bare to 6” of ice was a rough one, especially if going around corners unless doing 50 , but then you’re a hazard at that point going so slow, cus the guy behind you is flyin .
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Re: Four dead in a bus crash on Connector Hwy 97

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GordonH wrote: Dec 30th, 2022, 1:54 am If the police investigation finds the Driver responsible for this tragedy, hopefully the courts will charge the Driver full sentence according to the law.

Nothing will bring back any of Families loved ones, most likely the Families will probably be suing Ebus line.

If the investigation finds poor highway maintenance procedures was the cause of this tragedy, the Families should then go after highway Maintenance Contractor.
So who should you sue if the provided and mandated safety belts weren’t utilized?
I really like your post, just can’t find the button. I’m part of the fringe minority.
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Re: Four dead in a bus crash on Connector Hwy 97

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Well the "cause" of this collision. Won't be 100% road, or 100% driver.

An illustration of 100% road maintenance would be a dozen vehicles all in the rhubarb at the same location.

I remember one day, years ago on the new Georgia Viaduct in Vancouver. The City of Vancouver decided to put down some type of sealing agent after the concrete surface viaduct was operational. It was a Sunday afternoon in the summer. The only thing, it HAD to be on a day with no rain for a couple of hours or the surface would be EXTREMELY slippery. They sprayed this stuff out, no problem. Then out of the blue a fluke rain squall came through. Instant skating rink.

Calls went into the police a large number of vehicles have crashed at the east end of the viaduct. First police vehicle on the scene was a police motorcycle, he joined the rest of the crashed vehicles as he slid on his side. That was 100% caused by the road maintenance.

When road conditions contribute to a collision it's very difficult to place are large amount of the liability/blame on the driver. Yes, perhaps another driver would have conducted their driving differently and not gone out of control, but to what degree ?

The bus driver would have had to have been passing slower vehicles driving like a crazy person to receive a serious charge.

At most "Too Fast For Conditions" (if in fact the bus was travelling too fast), I don't even think Driving Without Due Care could be proven. I'm sure the bus has a black box, so they'll know the speed pre-incident.

As for the lack of use of seatbelts, that's a can of worms. If an injured person didn't have a belt, there could be what's called "Contributory Negligence". The event that would drive me crazy is the passenger, sitting wearing a seatbelt being injured when landed on my some idiot not wearing a seatbelt. That unbelted passenger could have a portion of the liability (try proving that). Also, what onus was there, or should there be, on the bus driver/bus company to make sure everyone was belted in, as required by the Motor Vehicle Act.

What can be done in busses ? Illuminated "Fasten Seatbelt" signs. Attendants ? Warning lights telling the driver if an occupied seat doesn't have a belt fastened ?

I'm sure there's a lot of shallow thinkers who believe not wearing a seatbelt in a bus can only affect themselves. Obviously not so.
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Re: Four dead in a bus crash on Connector Hwy 97

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t76turbo wrote: Dec 31st, 2022, 10:55 am
GordonH wrote: Dec 30th, 2022, 1:54 am If the police investigation finds the Driver responsible for this tragedy, hopefully the courts will charge the Driver full sentence according to the law.

Nothing will bring back any of Families loved ones, most likely the Families will probably be suing Ebus line.

If the investigation finds poor highway maintenance procedures was the cause of this tragedy, the Families should then go after highway Maintenance Contractor.
So who should you sue if the provided and mandated safety belts weren’t utilized?
Who knows how many of passengers &/or loved ones will want someone to pay for what happened. Lawyer will hopefully tell potential client there chances of winning the case.
As for seatbelts it probably says on the ticket, something like ride at your own risk if unwilling to use the the seatbelts.


There was lengthy debate about adding seatbelts to School buses a number of years back. I suspect they decided against it.
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Re: Four dead in a bus crash on Connector Hwy 97

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GordonH wrote: Dec 31st, 2022, 12:24 pm Who knows how many of passengers &/or loved ones will want someone to pay for what happened. Lawyer will hopefully tell potential client there chances of winning the case.
As for seatbelts it probably says on the ticket, something like ride at your own risk if unwilling to use the the seatbelts.

There was lengthy debate about adding seatbelts to School buses a number of years back. I suspect they decided against it.
As we've discussed, wanting and being able to sue will depend on the severity of the injury. It would be a can of worms for any non-severely injured passenger. They would be barred from suing ICBC, but ? could they sue the contractor or province, and that extent would be dictated by the percentage of liability that is apportioned to the bus driver and what percentage to the contractor and/or the province.

I'm not that confident the road conditions will be a subject of suits. That would be interesting though. If there is a case, what percentage is the highway contractor at risk for not maintaining the road surface and what percentage is the province at risk for not closing the roadway because of the shortfall (if any) of it's contractor.

If I was defending the contractor or the province for the condition of the road surface, I'd hang my hat on the fact that lot's of vehicles, in fact none but the bus, crashed at the location.
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Re: Four dead in a bus crash on Connector Hwy 97

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my5cents wrote: Dec 31st, 2022, 1:32 pm
GordonH wrote: Dec 31st, 2022, 12:24 pm Who knows how many of passengers &/or loved ones will want someone to pay for what happened. Lawyer will hopefully tell potential client there chances of winning the case.
As for seatbelts it probably says on the ticket, something like ride at your own risk if unwilling to use the the seatbelts.

There was lengthy debate about adding seatbelts to School buses a number of years back. I suspect they decided against it.
As we've discussed, wanting and being able to sue will depend on the severity of the injury. It would be a can of worms for any non-severely injured passenger. They would be barred from suing ICBC, but ? could they sue the contractor or province, and that extent would be dictated by the percentage of liability that is apportioned to the bus driver and what percentage to the contractor and/or the province.

I'm not that confident the road conditions will be a subject of suits. That would be interesting though. If there is a case, what percentage is the highway contractor at risk for not maintaining the road surface and what percentage is the province at risk for not closing the roadway because of the shortfall (if any) of it's contractor.

If I was defending the contractor or the province for the condition of the road surface, I'd hang my hat on the fact that lot's of vehicles, in fact none but the bus, crashed at the location.
I suspect it can’t get much more severe then death.
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Re: Four dead in a bus crash on Connector Hwy 97

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GordonH wrote: Dec 31st, 2022, 2:57 pm I suspect it can’t get much more severe then death.
As for qualifying for injuries that allow suits, yes. There may be others on the bus that have non-fatal, but catastrophic, I guess we'll find out.

As for insurance companies. Deaths aren't necessarily all the expensive in the big picture, it depends. Permanent disability requiring 24/7 care for life of a young person, get's up there.

Also, buses don't usually contain a lot a big wage earners, but this was somewhat different. We may have had some grounded airline passengers utilizing the service, who knows.
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Re: Four dead in a bus crash on Connector Hwy 97

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cjszalka wrote: Dec 30th, 2022, 9:13 am When weather conditions become so dangerous that maintenance to keep a highway driveable that highway needs to be shut down in my opinion. Such a heartbreaking time for everyone.
My friend, the retired greyhound driver,said that the road wasn’t bad enough to close...that one merely needed to drive to the conditions ,ei,slow down....said it was very common for him to take 2 1/2 hrs to get from west k to merrit, without stopping...
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Re: Four dead in a bus crash on Connector Hwy 97

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mullyman wrote: Jan 1st, 2023, 9:35 am
cjszalka wrote: Dec 30th, 2022, 9:13 am When weather conditions become so dangerous that maintenance to keep a highway driveable that highway needs to be shut down in my opinion. Such a heartbreaking time for everyone.
My friend, the retired greyhound driver,said that the road wasn’t bad enough to close...that one merely needed to drive to the conditions ,ei,slow down....said it was very common for him to take 2 1/2 hrs to get from west k to merrit, without stopping...
Yep. That’s how long it was taking me from west k to Merrit everyday. From dec 12-20. In a 2 wheel drive sprinter van.

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