Updated at 4:15 p.m. on Oct. 3
A 60-year-old transport driver from Mississauga has been charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle after rear-ending a school bus near Blind River Oct. 3, according to the Ontario Provincial Police.
Witnesses at the scene told police that the westbound school bus, one of two buses from Our Lady of Lourdes in Elliot Lake, was turning onto Park Road when it was hit from behind by the westbound transport, which was carrying various goods not affected by the collision.
The bus driver and transport driver were uninjured, but the collision sent five others on the bus to hospital with minor injuries. They were treated and released.
Five students in grades 4 and 5 and a teacher suffered minor injuries Oct. 3 when one of two school buses from Our Lady of Lourdes in Elliot Lake collided with a transport on Highway 17 west of Blind River, said the information officer for Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board.
A combined total of about 55 students from Our Lady of Lourdes were en route to a presentation on drug awareness at the Mississaugi First Nation, said Jim Fitzpatrick.
Those injured in the collision were taken to hospital in Blind River. All parents of the students on the field trip are being contacted.
“We're very fortunate, and we're very thankful that, as far as we know, it's only bumps and bruises,” Fitzpatrick said.
Students who were not injured were taken to the Blind River community centre and to St. Mary's Catholic School. Trauma counsellors have been brought in to help the students, and one of the board's superintendents is also there to help out, Fitzpatrick said.
Everyone aboard the buses walked away relatively unscathed physically. Mentally, it may be difficult for those involved in the crash to deal with the aftermath, because they are so young, Fitzpatrick said.
“A lot of them take the bus to school every day, so it might be a while before they gain back the confidence after being in this situation,” he said.
This is one of many field trips students with the school board take every year, he said.