Armchair on Highway 18 a suspected cause of Friday's bus rollover crash
A stuffed armchair laying on Highway 18 west of the Tansor Road cutoff is the suspected cause of Friday night's crash between a public transit bus and a Subaru SUV, police say.
Serious injuries aren't believed to have stemmed from the 7:40p.m. accident on damp pavement when the westbound Subaru's driver swerved to miss the chair — believed to have fallen from a truck earlier.
The Subaru hit the eastbound bus, that rolled into the east-side ditch, Mounties said.
North Cowichan's south-end firefighters, and paramedics, evacuated the bus driver and three passengers.
Five passengers in the Subaru station wagon left the SUV without any apparent injuries before it caught fire, police said.
The fire was quickly brought under control, said Const. Markus Lueder of the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP.
The Subaru sustained severe front-end damage after stopping in the westbound lane.
Folks involved in the wreck indicated the Subaru's driver tried to dodge the chair by moving onto the shoulder.
Upon returning to the westbound lane, the Subaru's driver lost control of the grey SUV and it slammed into the side of the oncoming bus, Lueder explained.
“The incident forced the bus to move off the eastbound lane, and due to the steep side embankment, caused the bus to tip onto its side and slide to a halt.”
“All parties involved were sent to a local hospital for evaluation.”
One female bus passenger was extracted from the bus, placed on a stretcher and taken to hospital by ambulance with what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries, he said.
The collision closed the highway for about four hours while an RCMP collision analyst attended, and crews cleared debris and the damaged vehicles.
Accident investigation continues, and charges are not currently being considered by police, Lueder said.