Bus crash kills 1, injures 12 on Ontario highway
CTV.ca News Staff
Published Sunday, August 22, 2010 7:08PM EDT
Twelve people were taken to hospital and one person is dead after a bus crash in western Ontario early Sunday morning, less than 24 hours after four people on that bus, all firefighters, were injured in a separate accident.
Sunday's crash happened at about 6 a.m. in the eastbound lanes of Highway 401 when the bus hit a guard rail just outside of Woodstock, Ont., and spun into the ditch near the junction with Highway 403, OPP Const. Michelle Murphy told CTV.ca.
A female victim died as a result of the crash. She has been identified as 49-year-old Darlene Goodfellow, a mother of three. Her husband David, a firefighter, is in hospital with head injuries.
Murphy said no other vehicles were involved.
The driver of the bus was taken to a London, Ont., hospital by an air ambulance, Murphy said. The other crash victims were taken by ground ambulances to hospitals in Woodstock, London and Ingersoll.
The passengers on the bus included four firefighters from Napanee, Ont., who had been injured Saturday night in a crash on Highway 401 near London, as they were making their way home from a firefighter competition in Windsor. A fifth firefighter remained in hospital Sunday morning and was not on the bus.
Family members of the injured firefighters had travelled to London to visit them in hospital and the group was on its way home Sunday morning when the bus crashed.
Napanee's acting fire chief, Ian Shetler, and his wife were among the injured.
Rebecca Murphy, a spokesperson for the town of Napanee, said the passengers sustained injuries ranging from cuts to broken bones. The passenger with the most severe injuries suffered a dislocated hip and fractured vertebrae.
Murphy said Napanee firefighters and their families have gathered at the local fire hall, where grief counsellors are on hand.
"In a small town everybody knows everyone and it's a very tight-knit community here and we're all just reeling from this news," Murphy told CTV News Channel in a telephone interview Sunday afternoon.
Murphy said an official from Napanee has travelled to western Ontario to co-ordinate whatever services are necessary for the injured while they are in hospital and after they are released.
The crash remains under investigation by the OPP Technical Traffic Collision Investigation team and Oxford County OPP officers, Murphy said. The cause of the crash is not yet known, though reports suggest the road was wet at the time.
The bus was chartered from McCoy Bus Service in Kingston, Ont. The company said it is co-operating with investigators.
"At this time, our thoughts and prayers are with the passengers on the bus and with the family of the person who was lost," company spokesperson Shawn Geary said in a statement.
The eastbound Highway 401 was closed at the junction between the two highways and traffic was rerouted onto Highway 403.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Naomi Parness and files from The Canadian Press