Updated: Mar 31
Highway 97C bus crash – Patient update from Interior Health
December 25, 2022
A bus accident on the Okanagan Connector (Highway 97C) in the early evening of Dec 24 resulted in 52 patients transported to four Interior Health hospitals.
Upon arrival 36 patients were assessed and treated for injuries that ranged from serious to minor.As of 9:30 a.m. today, eight patients remained in the care of hospitals in Penticton, Kelowna and Kamloops.
For those remaining in hospital, two are in serious condition and two have non-life threatening injuries.
A central phone line (250-545-2211) was established for families needing information about the location of loved ones.
Although the number of patients remaining in hospital is low, this is a life-altering incident for all involved, from the initial physical injuries to the emotional and spiritual impacts of an incident such as this.
Our thoughts are with the families and patients, as well as the many first responders at the scene, who were impacted by this tragic incident.Our deep gratitude to the many Interior Health staff and physicians already working or who came in to the hospitals to help care for the high number of patients who needed immediate care.
UPDATE: An official statement from RCMP confirms four persons died as a result of last night's rollover accident involving an Ebus on Highway 97c.
The Accident occurred just before the Loon Lake road exit. The EBus was traveling West on Hwy 97c around 6pm Christmas Eve. Over 50 people were sent to area hospitals. Passers-by helped the injured until emergency responders arrived.
Hwy 97c has reopened to traffic
An Ebus, bound for Vancouver, has rolled over on the Okanagan Connector,/Hwy 97c.
Over 50 people have been injured, some reportedly fatally. Multiple emergency vehicles responded. A bus to transport "walking wounded" and a "Multiple Casualty Trailer" from Kelowna Airport were dispatched.
One witness reported debris all over Highway 97c and people wandering everywhere"
Highway 97c also known as the Okanagan connector remains closed Christmas morning as investigators document the accident scene.
Interior Health has set up an INFORMATION LINE for Families of victims only:
UPDATE: An information line has been set up for families to locate their loved ones involved in the accident on #Hwy97C Call operator can advise of patient locations for those in our care. Please call 250-545-2211 (operator will answer after the greeting)
From Drive BC: INCIDENT
Highway 97C Both Directions - Highway 97C, in both directions. Vehicle incident between Junction Hwy 97 and Aspen Grove for 81.6 km (Peachland to 22 km east of Merritt). The road is closed. Assessment in progress. Next update time Sun Dec 25 at 9:30 AM PST. Last updated Sun Dec 25 at 7:08 AM PST. (DBC-47808)
Premiere Eby and several cabinet ministers expressed there sadness and sent condolences to the victims and their families in an online post:
“On this Christmas Eve we are shocked and saddened to hear of the serious bus accident on the Highway 97C Okanagan Connector between Merritt and Kelowna.
“Our thoughts are with those impacted by the crash, their loved ones, and the first responders and health-care workers giving their all to treat people and keep them safe.”
Over a dozen ambulances are believed to have been dispatched to the accident. Kelowna Fire department is also attending the scene along with RCMP.
Kelowna General Hospital declared a CODE ORANGE in anticipation of multiple patients.
Penticton Hospital was also on alert. and expecting patients.
Some reports estimate the number of injured at approximately 50. There are also reports of fatalities.
Drive BC weather report at the time of incident: WEATHER CONDITION
Highway 97C - Highway 97C. Blowing snow between Junction Hwy 97 and Pennask Summit for 33.0 km (West Kelowna to Pennask Summit). Watch for slippery sections. Compact snow. Last updated Sat Dec 24 at 8:12 PM PST. (DBCRCON-142095)