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Pedestrian dead after 2nd collision at scene of bus crash near Lac La Hache

Crash on Highway 97 north of Lac La Hache, parents asked to meet at South Cariboo Rec Centre
Emergency lights flash on top of a police car. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)

BC RCMP have confirmed one person has died Friday, June 21 after being struck by a vehicle on Highway 97 near Lac La Hache.

The tragedy unfolded after a school bus filled with 30 children and adults returning home from a field trip at Gavin Lake left the highway and went over a steep embankment at Butler Road in Lac La Hache. Witnesses on scene said a good Samaritan was struck trying to cross the highway to help.

"There was a subsequent collision on the highway where a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle. BC Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) attended the scene but despite life saving efforts the person did not survive," noted RCMP.

The first call for help came in at 12:55 p.m. about the incident near Wright Station Road.

Multiple resources were dispatched to the scene including 11 ambulances and response units with primary care and advanced care paramedics, seven air ambulances with critical care paramedics, and multiple supervisors and area managers, confirmed BCEHS.

Everyone was asked to avoid the area and allow emergency vehicles to respond to the scene. Highway 97 reopened late Friday night.

Paramedic public information officer Brian Twaitese said the response to the emergency involved multiple partners, including Interior Health, BC RCMP, and local fire first responders. 

School District 27 superintendent Chris van der Mark said the district reached out to parents asking them to head to the South Cariboo Rec Centre in 100 Mile House to be reunited with their children.

"Our first priority is for students and staff on the bus. Early reports from medical personnel are there are a few injuries. Most importantly all students and staff are accounted for and being checked out medically," said van der Mark.

Numerous people who were on the bus, including several children, were transferred to hospitals in 100 Mile House, Williams Lake and other cities with varying injuries.  

The bus had been returning grades 6 and 7 students to 100 Mile Elementary School and Horse Lake Elementary School from an end-of-the-year field trip to Gavin Lake.

The bus did go over a steep embankment, however, it remained upright.

Anyone who was travelling in the area and has dash camera footage or witnessed either collision is asked to contact BCHP- 100 Mile House at 250-395-2456.