15 confirmed dead after handi-van, semi-trailer collision near Carberry



By Eoin Devereux

Neepawa Banner & Press

There has been a tragic collision between a semi-truck and a handi-transit vehicle near Carberry. Commanding officer of the Manitoba RCMP Rod Hill confirmed this afternoon that 15 people have died in the accident, which occurred on Thursday morning at the junction of the Trans-Canada Highway and Highway 5, close to the Town of Carberry. Early reports note that the vehicle was travelling down to the Carberry area from Dauphin.

“Sadly this is a day in Manitoba and across Canada that will be remembered as one of tragedy and incredible sadness,” Hill said. “To all those [family members] waiting [for an update], I can't imagine how difficult it is not knowing if the person you love the most will be making it home tonight. I'm so sorry we cannot get you the definitive answers you need more quickly.”

A family support centre has been set up at a Lutheran Church in Dauphin for relatives.


How did this happen?

Rob Lasson, RCMP officer in charge of major crime services, said officers were dispatched to the crash scene at 11:43 a.m. An initial investigation has determined the bus carrying the seniors was going south on Highway 5 and was crossing the eastbound lanes of the Trans-Canada Highway when it got struck by the semi.  The bus had already crossed the westbound lanes of Highway 1 and was crossing the eastbound lanes when it was struck by the semi.

Lasson added, however, that it's still early in what is a complex investigation and all the answers aren't immediately available.

“Answers will take some time but I can assure you that the RCMP will get the answers,” said Lasson.


The response

A spokesperson for the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service (Stars) air ambulance service said the scene was “in line with the similar large incidents that we responded to in the past” and that 14 physicians, paramedics and nurses as well as two helicopters were sent to the scene.

Manitoba premier Heather Stefanson offered her condolences to the families. 

“Our hearts are broken and our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of all the lives impacted by the horrific and devastating tragedy near the town of Carberry,” said Stefanson via media statement.

Prime minister Justin Trudeau provided the following response, via his Twitter feed.

“The news from Carberry, Manitoba is incredibly tragic. I’m sending my deepest condolences to those who lost loved ones today, and I’m keeping the injured in my thoughts. I cannot imagine the pain those affected are feeling – but Canadians are here for you.”