Manitoba woman, 18, one of two students killed in bus crash on Vancouver Island
Search and rescue crews and RCMP help a tow-truck crew to remove a bus from the ditch of a logging road near Bamfield, B.C., on Saturday, September 14, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
VICTORIA -- Two 18-year-old students, a woman from Manitoba and an American man, have been identified as the victims of a fatal bus crash on Vancouver Island.
The British Columbia Coroners Service released the information but says the names of either victim will not be revealed.
Both died when a charter bus carrying 45 University of Victoria students, two teaching assistants and the driver crashed on a gravel road between the communities of Port Alberni and Bamfield late Friday.
More than a dozen other students were injured.
The coroners service says in a statement that no further information about the victims will be provided until investigations into the deaths are concluded.
The University of Victoria says the students were travelling to the Bamfield Marine Science Centre when the crash occurred.
Robert Dennis, chief councillor for the Huu-ay-aht First Nations, drove past the scene shortly after the crash and said the bus was overturned and about six to nine metres down an embankment, resting against trees that stopped it from rolling further.
Port Alberni Mayor Sharie Minions described the nearly 80-kilometre road as mostly gravel and "challenging at the best of times."
The city has supported the First Nations community's call for improvements to the road and has also reached out to the provincial government, she said.
The university began offering counselling services to survivors on Sunday after they returned to the Victoria campus and it said additional support would be offered to help students continue their studies.