A tragic accident impacted the community of Saddle Lake last Friday morning, as a truck collided with a school bus full of children, killing the driver of the truck, in an accident that occurred five kilometres west of the Bison intersection on the reserve.
The collision happened at 8:14 a.m., at which time, there were 17 children on the Saddle Lake school bus as well as the driver. “All of the students were treated by EMS before being transported to the St. Therese Health Centre and the Two Hills hospital for additional examination as a precaution,” stated Sgt. Brent Sawatzky, of the St. Paul/Saddle Lake RCMP in a press release. All of the children were released to their parents, while the driver of the bus was also treated at the hospital and released on the same day of the accident, according to RCMP.
However the 44-year-old male driver of the truck, who was a resident of Saddle Lake Cree Nation, died at the scene.
Terry Senecal, chief of the St. Paul Fire Department, confirmed that the department sent a crew and an emergency response vehicle to the scene. The RCMP press release indicates that the Saddle Lake fire services were also on scene and that fire crews had to use the Jaws of Life to remove the deceased from the vehicle. The name of the deceased has yet to be released, pending notification of his next of kin.
Preliminary results of the investigation have revealed that the westbound pick-up truck crossed the centre line and collided with the eastbound school bus. The St. Paul/Saddle Lake RCMP, with the assistance of the RCMP collision re-constructionist, continue to investigate the matter in effort to determine the cause of the collision.