Skip to main content

Manitoba RCMP say semi-truck had right of way at time of deadly Trans-Canada Highway crash


Manitoba RCMP say they have obtained video footage of the deadly crash between a semi-truck and bus on the Trans-Canada Highway on Thursday that killed 15 people and sent 10 people to hospital, saying the semi-truck had the right of way at the time of the crash.

Superintendent Rob Lasson with the RCMP’s Major Crimes section provided an update to the investigation on Friday, saying they obtained video footage from the semi-truck trailer of the crash, which occurred around noon at the intersection of the Trans-Canada Highway and Highway 5.

“This video indicates that the bus entered the roadway where the semi trailer truck had the right of way,” Lasson said. “Extensive analysis is being done on the video before any further determinations are made.”

Lasson said RCMP have seized the bus and the semi-truck, with both being secured, and additional analysis of the vehicles will take place.

“We’re determining whether the semi had an event data recorder that will help us ascertain a number of critical pieces of information, such as speed, exact coordinates and the mechanical status of the vehicle,” he said.

Lasson said RCMP have interviewed passing motorists, whose statements they say corroborate what officers saw on the video.

“We are not assigning culpability or laying any blame at this time,” he said. “We are merely stating the facts as we know them. The investigation is still ongoing with a lots of work to do to in order to obtain a 100 per cent responsibility.”

Lasson said the age range of people in the bus ranged from 58 years old to 88 years old, with 19 women and six men. Six women survived the crash, along with four men.

Lasson added RCMP have spoken with the semi driver, but have not yet spoken with the bus driver, noting he is one of the people in hospital.

“Our primary concern at this time is his medical care and recovery,” he said.

Shared Health released an update Friday afternoon on the 10 patients who remain hospitalized, saying they range in age from early 60s to late 80s, and are being treated for a variety of serious injuries at Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg and at Brandon Regional Health Centre.

“Of those patients, six are in a critical care unit and four are being cared for in a surgical unit,” Shared Health said in a news release.

Dr. Shawn Young, chief operating officer at HSC, said the six patients in critical care suffered severe injuries, and some have had surgery, with more operations expected.

“These injuries are quite significant,” he said, saying the majority of injuries are orthopedic.

Lasson said Friday the deceased have not all been individually identified at this time. He added officers have been having difficult conversations with the families of victims informing them that their loved ones are likely among the deceased.

“These are answers, but obviously not the kinds of answers people are hoping for,” Lasson said.

John K. Younes, Manitoba's chief medical examiner, said post-mortem examination and identification of the deceased should be completed by the middle of next week.

Young said during the news conference that “It’s possible” the death toll from the crash could increase.

“Age does have a big impact on our ability to withstand injuries like this,” Young said. “It will impact their recovery, it will impact their outcomes as well. This is an elderly cohort of patients, so their recoveries will be long and their course could be complicated.”

A code orange situation was in place at Health Sciences Centre for several hours.

“Everyone is working at the same time in harmony to make sure we have the capacity for the most acute patients,” said Lanette Siragusa, CEO of Shared Health.

According to Shared Health, 28 patients were moved from Health Sciences Centre to other facilities to help create capacity for patients impacted by the crash. Top Stories

Stay Connected