Conditions ‘dangerous’ at Columbia Icefield parking lot where driver killed, colleague says

The Columbia Icefield parking lot where a bus driver was pinned and killed by her own bus on Thursday is often crowded and unsafe in winter conditions, her coworker told CBC News.

The charter bus driver, 52, dropped off her passengers in the parking lot at around 1:20 p.m. When she left her bus to ask a driver to move their vehicle, the bus started sliding on the ice. 

She tried to stop it from hitting other vehicles and became pinned underneath and died, RCMP said. Her name was not released.

Ron Movat, her coworker at Canada Coach Lines Inc., pulled into the parking lot shortly after the incident. He saw other drivers pointing to a bus that had slid on the ice and collided with cars. That’s when he heard the driver was stuck underneath.

Initially, she was conscious and being assisted by on-site emergency personnel, he said. He stepped away to call his boss. When he returned, they had started CPR on her but she wasn’t responding. Ambulances from Jasper arrived at around 2:30 p.m., Movat said.

“It was horrible for all of us,” he said.

‘The ice needs to be dealt with’

The parking lot off Highway 93 is about 100 kilometres south of Jasper, the closest town. 

When a winter storm blew in earlier this week, snow settled and compacted on the parking lot before it was cleared. It caused icy conditions and covered long lines on the parking lot marked for buses, Movat said.

He believes the parking lot wasn’t safe for drivers at the time, and said bus drivers have complained about it before.

“If you’ve got a parking lot that’s dangerous in critical areas where vehicles need to turn and people are being dropped off, the ice needs to be dealt with. And also there were way too many vehicles in there,” Movat said.

“She shouldn’t have been in that situation, she should have been able to just … get her passengers off of the bus in a safe manner and then go and park her bus. But that wasn’t possible because there were cars in there blocking the way and she ended up stopping somewhere where she couldn’t move any further on the ice.”

She shouldn’t have been in that situation, she should have been able to just … get her passengers off of the bus in a safe manner and then go and park her bus.– Ron Movat

Neither Canada Coach Lines Inc. or Pursuit Collection, the company that manages the parking lot, immediately returned CBC’s requests for comment.

Movat said he has also tried to make suggestions to Parks Canada to improve the safety of the parking lot, but has not seen any changes made. 

Movat said Canada Coach Lines is trying to subcontract a day of work to another bus company to allow employees time to join together in remembering their colleague.

“I’m not sure what the service is going to be, but I know that everybody’s going to want to go,” he said.

“She was such a dedicated employee.”

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Sherwood Park

Sherwood Park is a large hamlet in Alberta, Canada within Strathcona County that is recognized as an urban service area.[7] It is located adjacent to the City of Edmonton’s eastern boundary,[8] generally south of Highway 16 (Yellowhead Trail), west of Highway 21 and north of Highway 630 (Wye Road).[9] Other portions of Sherwood Park extend beyond Yellowhead Trail and Wye Road, while Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) separates Refinery Row to the west from the balance of the hamlet to the east.[9]

Sherwood Park was established in 1955 on farmland of the Smeltzer family, east of Edmonton. With a population of 70,618 in 2016,[6] Sherwood Park has enough people to be Alberta’s seventh largest city, but technically retains the status of a hamlet. The Government of Alberta recognizes the Sherwood Park Urban Service Area as equivalent to a city.


Sherwood Park, originally named Campbelltown, was founded by John Hook Campbell and John Mitchell in 1953 when the Municipal District of Strathcona No. 83 approved their proposed development of a bedroom community east of Edmonton. The first homes within the community were marketed to the public in 1955. Canada Post intervened on the name of Campbelltown due to the existence of several other communities in Canada within the same name, so the community’s name was changed to Sherwood Park in 1956.

The Sherwood Park Urban Service Area is located in the Edmonton Capital Region along the western edge of central Strathcona County adjacent to the City of Edmonton.[8] The majority of the community is bound by Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway) to the north, Highway 21 to the east, Highway 630 (Wye Road) to the south, and Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) to the west. The Refinery Row portion of Sherwood Park is located across Anthony Henday Drive to the west, between Sherwood Park Freeway and Highway 16. Numerous developments fronting the south side of Wye Road, including Wye Gardens, Wye Crossing, Salisbury Village and the Estates of Sherwood Park, are also within the community. Lands north of Highway 16 and south of Township Road 534/Oldman Creek between Range Road 232 (Sherwood Drive) to the west and Highway 21 to the east are also within the Sherwood Park urban service area.

Originally posted 2018-10-06 14:13:59. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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