News Provincial

Greyhound bus carrying 40 drifts off Highway 17

By Ryan Paulsen, The Daily Observer

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A Greyhound bus containing 40 passengers careened off Highway 17 in Head, Clara and Maria Township shortly after 4 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 12. The driver suffered serious facial injuries and one passenger was complaining of back pain afterwards, but the remaining 39 people escaped without injury.

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A Greyhound bus containing 40 passengers careened off Highway 17 in Head, Clara and Maria Township shortly after 4 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 12. The driver suffered serious facial injuries and one passenger was complaining of back pain afterwards, but the remaining 39 people escaped without injury.

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In the early morning hours of Friday, Aug. 12, the 40 passengers on an eastbound Greyhound bus got the worst kind of awakening when their bus slid off Highway 17 and careened more than 100 metres into the roadside bush before finally coming to a stop.

"The bus drifted 100 metres down the bank off the highway," says Renfrew County Paramedics chief Michael Nolan, "and hit all sorts of trees before stopping."

The accident happened at approximately 4:30 a.m. just east of the Mackey Creek bridge in Head-Clara-Maria Township, West of Deep River.

The driver of the bus, a man in his 60s, suffered serious but non-life threatening facial injuries in the accident, and a male passenger in his 50s was complaining of back pain following the accident, but the 39 other passengers were "rattled, but otherwise okay," according to Nolan.

The accident happened in a now-famous stretch of highway that gained national attention after it was discovered that it was the only stretch of the Trans Canada Highway in the province without extrication coverage. Fortunately, says Nolan, this particular incident didn't require such extrication service.

"Luckily, thank God it didn't. The guys say that 10 feet either way and it would have been, because there were some big trees right there."

Passengers were waiting on the side of the highway until 8 a.m. while Greyhound arranged for alternate transportation to finish the voyage to Ottawa.

rpaulsen@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/PRyanPaulsen