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Tour bus operator faces health and safety charges in fatal Icefield crash


A tour operator was charged with a fatal rollover at the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park nearly two years ago and more charges may be pending. The Alberta government said Friday that Brewster Inc.

JASPER, ALBERTA — A tour operator was charged with a fatal rollover at the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park nearly two years ago and more charges may be pending.

The Alberta government said Friday that Brewster Inc. faces eight charges under the provincial Occupational Health and Safety Act related to the use and maintenance of seat belts, failure to controlling hazards and failing to ensure that equipment was in good working order.

Three people were killed and 14 others suffered life-threatening injuries after the red and white high-wheeled Ice Explorer lost control en route to the Athabasca Glacier, about 100 kilometers southeast of Jasper, Alberta, July 18, 2020.

The bus with 27 people on board rolled about fifty meters on a morainic embankment before coming to rest on its roof.

Icefield tours resumed last year. The tour bus operator said seat belts had been added to buses and changes had been made to driver training and road maintenance.

Pursuit, the company that operates the Icefield bus tours, said in an emailed statement that it could not comment on details of the case due to legal proceedings.

“We continue to support a transparent, multi-agency investigation into this tragic accident,” he said.

The case is due in Jasper Provincial Court on June 23.

A final RCMP report on the rollover has not been made public, but was submitted to Alberta prosecutors in April.

The Crown will determine if the evidence warrants criminal charges.

“The RCMP is aware of the charges that resulted from the separate Alberta Occupational Health and Safety investigation. The RCMP has shared all requested investigative materials collected during the criminal investigation with the Department of Labor and Immigration, as required by the Alberta OHS Act,” RCMP said. said in a statement.

“The RCMP’s criminal investigation is independent, separate and parallel to the OHS investigation.”

The RCMP said it will provide a further update to victims and families when the results of the criminal investigation can be shared.

Two civil lawsuits were filed on behalf of people on the bus that day. Some complainants have expressed concern about the delay in finding out what happened.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on May 13, 2022.

The Canadian Press




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