‘Bit of a traumatic experience’: Winnipeg students stuck in Saskatchewan following bus crash

Students at a Winnipeg school were forced to stay the night in Saskatchewan after the charter bus they were riding in was involved in a crash with a semi Wednesday during a snowstorm.

According to Brian O’Leary, superintendent of the Seven Oaks School Division, the crash happened east of Regina on Highway 1.

Three buses carrying approximately 100 students and staff members from Maples Collegiate, were returning home from a music festival in Edmonton when one of them hit the back of a semi-truck. The driver was injured, but everyone else was physically unharmed.

“It’s been a bit of a traumatic experience for them,” O’Leary said Friday, saying that services and support will be available to those who require it once they return.

The crash came as a spring storm slammed Saskatchewan this week, leading to treacherous conditions on the road. O’Leary said at the time of the crash, there was no indication the highways were closed.

Wolseley and Indian Head, two nearby communities, have stepped in to help the students and staff, who were waiting until the weather calmed down to travel again.

“They’ve found places for them to sleep, they’ve been feeding them, they’ve been taking care of them,” O’Leary said. “A lot of our students were attending school for a day in Saskatchewan, and meeting students there.

“I really enjoyed the musical ‘Come From Away,’ about the planes landing in (Newfoundland & Labrador), and it’s been very much a ‘Come From Away’ experience in terms of the hospitality.”

O’Leary said the goal is to have students home by Saturday.

“We’re anxious to get our kids home, and I know parents are anxious to see their kids, and see that they’re doing well,” he said.

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