By Sue Tiffin
Published June 12 2017
A Grade 8 graduation trip didn't getoff to a great start when the two buses carrying Don Valley MiddleSchool students to Camp White Pine in Haliburton collided on themorning of June 12.
“One bus jammed on the brakes andthe other one rear-ended him” said Jon Schumacher who witnessedthe scene on Hwy 118 at Camp White Pine Court and called paramedics.
Students suffered minor injuriesincluding cut lips and neck and back pain.
“They're shaken up it's scary”said Tyler Gmyrek lead teacher for the trip.
All five county ambulances as well asEMS management attended to the accident transporting students to theHaliburton Hospital for assessment while others waited reportedly instable condition on spinal boards for the ambulances to return.Fifty-two students and four teachers were on the buses and 16students were transported to hospital.
“We flagged all the resources we hadon duty to ensure all patients that required transport to thehospital were transported expediently and appropriate patient carerendered” said Tim Waite deputy-chief Haliburton CountyParamedic Service.
Uninjured students were taken to thecamp to eat and await the Toronto District School Board's decisionabout whether or not the camp scheduled until June 14 wouldcontinue.
“It's a long way to come and then nothave the chance to actually stay and enjoy being up here” saidGary Dyszkant of Camp White Pine who was on scene to help. “It'llbe something to tell your high school on your first day.”
Dyszkant said the accident wasunfortunate on what was to be a relaxing trip.
“It is a difficult road if you don'tknow the area because it is just after the corner” he said. “I'msure the bus drivers have never been there before they came up fromToronto. We've never had that type of incident where two busescollided bringing people here. It's a first for us.”
Haliburton Highlands Health Services(HHHS) distributed a press release after the bus accident.
“At this time the injured studentsand severity of the injuries is unknown” said the release fromCarolyn Plummer president and CEO. “HHHS has increased staffing toassist with the volume and has initiated a Code Orange which aims tocoordinate a safe and effective response to an external disaster orevent that my increase the capacity of the hospital.”
Parents and guardians of students onthe bus were invited to contact the hospital directly at 705-457-1392for further information.
The investigation is ongoing accordingto Haliburton Highlands OPP.