Update: Major Incident Fatal Bus Crash on Hwy 97c

B.C., Merritt, BC Highway Patrol

2022-12-25 16:45 PST

 On December 24th 2022 at approximately 18:14 hours the BC Highway Patrol and Merritt RCMP were advised of a single vehicle collision around Loon Lake on Hwy 97c east of Merritt BC.

Police and emergency services responded and located a commercial passenger bus that had gone off road to the left and rolled onto its passenger side coming to rest in the eastbound lanes. Preliminary information indicates the bus was travelling westbound prior to the collision. No other vehicles were involved.

The exact number of passengers has yet to be confirmed, however approximately 53 patients were transported to local hospitals in Kamloops, Kelowna and Penticton. We are currently in the process of locating and speaking with them. Due to the exigent circumstances and injuries many were transported to local hospitals prior to Police having the chance to identify them at scene. The driver of the bus is cooperating with Police.

We can confirm, tragically 4 passengers were found deceased. BC Coroners service attended the scene. We are attempting to complete next of kin notifications and will not be providing any further details about the deceased at this time.

The road conditions were described as very poor with ice and snow on the road surface along with rain and hail falling. RCMP Collision Re-constructionists attended the scene. This matter is still under active investigation.

A central phone line (250-545-2211) has been set up for friends and families seeking information as to the location of passengers.

If you witnessed the collision or have dash-cam video of the Bus travelling prior to the collision, please contact your local RCMP.

Cst. / Gend. James Ward
Media relations / Relation et Média
BC Highway Patrol – Kelowna / Patrouille routière de la C.-B. Kelowna
2611 Norris Rd / 2611, chemin Norris
Kelowna, BC / C.B. V1X 7M1
Cell / Cellulaire : 250-469-2035
Fax / Télécopieur : 250-491-4378
Email / Courriel : james.ward@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

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