EDMONTON — The boyfriend of a woman killed when the sightseeing bus the couple was on rolled in the Rocky Mountains believes she would still be alive had passengers been wearing seatbelts.
Devon Ernest was with his girlfriend Dionne Durocher and his cousin in Jasper National Park last weekend when the trio boarded the off-road bus to head up to the Athabasca Glacier.
Ernest, who is from Saskatchewan, says the last thing he remembers is hitting the roof of the bus, then waking up next to Durocher who was barley breathing and later pronounced dead.
RCMP say three people were killed and the 24 other people on board were sent to hospital after Saturday’s rollover, many with critical injuries.
Officials haven’t determined the cause of the crash.
The company that runs the Columbia Icefield tours, Pursuit, says the buses don’t have seatbelts because the vehicles are not approved drive on the highway and they don’t travel faster than 40 km/h.
“I definitely think everyone would be OK if there were seatbelts,” Ernest said in a phone interview from hospital, where he is recovering.
“Seatbelts would have changed everything.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 21, 2020.
Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press