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One of 30 remains in hospital after Coquihalla Highway pileup

A Canada West tour bus full of senior citizens was one of the many vehicles in a pileup on the Coquihalla Highway outside Kamloops, Nov. 21.
Image Credit: InfoTel Multimedia
November 22, 2012 - 11:31 AM

UPDATE: 3 p.m. Nov. 22

Of the 30 people brought to the Royal Inland Hospital after a multi-vehicle collision on the Coquihalla yesterday, one remains in hospital.

"There were a total of 30 people that were brought in. Twenty-nine of them were treated and released last night. One man (remains) with fairly severe injuries," said Marg Brown, health service administrator at Royal Inland Hospital.

While Brown would not release details of the man's condition, she said his injuries are not life threatening.

She said those released from the hospital the evening of the crash sustained mostly cuts, bruises, prolonged exposure to the cold and were shaken up.

"It's my understanding that most individuals on the bus were either from Kamloops or from Chase and they were seniors," said Brown.

Brown said temporary arrangements were made for passengers at the Best Western Plus hotel up the hill from the hospital.

Tim Rodgers, general manager of the hotel, said staff had set aside 12 rooms but none were used.

Despite the injuries and holdup on the highway, Brown said the situation could have been worse. She said the hospital was prepared for the influx of patients.

"We have what is called a code orange, a mass casualty plan," she said. "It was like a well-oiled machine."

"The outcome could have been very, very different. It's good news for everybody that the outcomes were good."

— Jessica Wallace
jwallace@infotelnews.ca
(250)319-7494

11:30 a.m. update

The 'Highway Through Hell' is earning its reputation after a multi-vehicle pileup on the Coquihalla Highway, Nov. 21.

Early reports of the collision suggest 20 to 30 people injured.

Numerous media reported Wednesday evening that a bus full of seniors collided with a semi-trailer truck stopped on the highway at about 6:45 p.m. and setting off a chain reaction of collisions.

Another semi travelling behind the bus then hit the back of the bus.

The Daily News also reported a Ford Explorer was sandwiched between the second semi and the curb, while a fifth vehicle, an older-model sedan, crashed into the curb behind it.

About 30 people were trapped on the bus for at least an hour before being freed by paramedics and Kamloops Fire and Rescue.

The Royal Inland Hospital issued an emergency-triage code to accommodate the accident victims.

Weather conditions were icy and snowy.

The incident closed the major highway until the early hours of the morning.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2012
InfoTel News Ltd

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