Sunday, July 20, 2014

US/Canada: Canadian Girl, 14, Killed, Most Passengers Sustain Minor Injuries

According to Quebec-based The Global and Mail, 14-year-old Chelssy Mercier of Québec City died and many more injured after a bus carrying Canadian tourists hit a ditch and flipped over in New York State on Interstate 87 and crashed at approximately 0800 hours on Friday (July 18).

The bus was transporting 55 passengers and a driver, according to Major Richard Smith of the New York State Police.

Major Smith said the fatal victim was partially trapped under the bus, which sat on its side in the ditch.

First responders managed to extract the girl using jacks to lift the bus. A state trooper used a portable defibrillator, but could not revive the girl, who had been traveling with her mother.

Three people suffered more serious injuries, but their lives were not in danger and 51 others were treated for “mostly minor injuries” at three area hospitals. 

The passengers were aged six to 54. Many of them were teenagers and young adults traveling with family, according to police. 

COMMENT: The crash occurred near North Hudson, NY, about 200 kilometers south of Montreal.  Don Jaquish, emergency services director in Essex county, told the Adirondack Daily Enterprise that several people trapped inside the bus had to be removed by emergency personnel.

Josiane Grimard of Quebec travel agency, http://www.Jaimonvoyage.com, said her company has sent a bus to retrieve passengers. She said it’s the first accident involving her company, which chartered the bus from Autobus Fleur de Lys, based near Quebec City.

Ms. Grimard said the company has a regular route between Quebec and New York City every weekend in the summer, so the driver was used to the trip.

Georges Morissette, president of Autobus Fleur de Lys, said in a statement the driver has nearly 30 years' experience and an impeccable driving record. He has worked for Autobus Fleur de Lys since April 2012 and was getting back on the road after seven days off.

The vehicle involved is a Prevost luxury bus with a maximum capacity of 56 passengers. "The vehicle was in perfect mechanical condition and had undergone a periodic inspection that confirmed it conformed with company standards and Canadian regulations," the company said.

The bus picked up travelers in Quebec City, Trois-Rivieres and Longueuil overnight before embarking to New York City.