Minor injuries reported after bus collision
By Sue Tiffin
Published June 12, 2017
A Grade 8 graduation trip didn't get off to a great start when the two buses carrying Don Valley Middle School students to Camp White Pine in Haliburton collided on the morning of June 12.
“One bus jammed on the brakes, and the other one rear-ended him” said Jon Schumacher, who witnessed the scene on Hwy 118 at Camp White Pine Court and called paramedics.
Students suffered minor injuries including cut lips and neck and back pain.
“They're shaken up, it's scary,” said Tyler Gmyrek, lead teacher for the trip.
All five county ambulances as well as EMS management attended to the accident, transporting students to the Haliburton Hospital for assessment while others waited, reportedly in stable condition, on spinal boards for the ambulances to return. Fifty-two students and four teachers were on the buses, and 16 students were transported to hospital.
“We flagged all the resources we had on duty to ensure all patients that required transport to the hospital were transported expediently, and appropriate patient care rendered,” said Tim Waite, deputy-chief, Haliburton County Paramedic Service.
Uninjured students were taken to the camp to eat and await the Toronto District School Board's decision about whether or not the camp, scheduled until June 14, would continue.
“It's a long way to come and then not have the chance to actually stay and enjoy being up here,” said Gary Dyszkant of Camp White Pine, who was on scene to help. “It'll be something to tell your high school on your first day.”
Dyszkant said the accident was unfortunate on what was to be a relaxing trip.
“It is a difficult road if you don't know the area because it is just after the corner,” he said. “I'm sure the bus drivers have never been there before, they came up from Toronto. We've never had that type of incident where two buses collided bringing people here. It's a first for us.”
Haliburton Highlands Health Services (HHHS) distributed a press release after the bus accident.
“At this time, the injured students and severity of the injuries is unknown,” said the release from Carolyn Plummer, president and CEO. “HHHS has increased staffing to assist with the volume and has initiated a Code Orange, which aims to coordinate a safe and effective response to an external disaster or event that my increase the capacity of the hospital.”
Parents and guardians of students on the bus were invited to contact the hospital directly at 705-457-1392 for further information.
The investigation is ongoing according to Haliburton Highlands OPP.