Two young boys collided with a BC Transit bus after tobogganing down a driveway and into the road Wednesday morning in Colwood.
Sam Staples, 11, became trapped under the full-size bus, pinned under the front axle. His friend, eight-year-old Lucas, whose last name wasn’t available, was hit by the front of the bus, but didn’t fall underneath.
Colwood Fire Rescue received the call at 9:02 a.m. and firefighters were on scene at Stornoway Drive within four minutes.
“The axle was on his chest,” said Colwood fire Chief Russ Cameron. “He was conscious and talking the whole time.”
Firefighters used airbags and cribbing to lift up the front of the bus to free the young boy.
He was removed from under the bus by 9:11 a.m., moved to a backboard and taken to Victoria General Hospital by a waiting ambulance.
Sam’s mother Sally Staples said she had earlier warned the boys not to toboggan down their driveway.
“They thought they had it covered and could hear the traffic coming, but the sounds were muffled by the snow,” Staples said.
A neighbour alerted her that Sam was in trouble, but only when she reached the bus did she realize he was wedged underneath.
“My heart stopped,” Staples said. “It was terrifying.” She held her son’s hand and talked to him as firefighters worked to lift the vehicle.
Austin Randall-Derks, 15, who witnessed the incident and called 9-1-1, said the boys were tobogganing from one driveway across Stornoway into his driveway.
Three boys were tobogganing together, he said, but one had gone inside to get another jacket just before the incident occurred.
“He has no broken bones or concussion, but he looks like he was hit by a bus,” Staples said. “My kid was hit by a bus and lived to tell about it.”
Lucas was also seen in hospital and discharged on Wednesday.
A female passenger on the bus helped comfort the boys along with the driver. “The driver did everything he could,” Staples said.
“Obviously children should be careful when tobogganing, the streets are made for traffic,” Cameron remarked.
The No. 52 bus struck the boys, but West Shore RCMP Cpl. Cory Bayda confirmed the driver is not at fault.
“The bus was going slow due to the road conditions,” Bayda said. “The bus driver didn’t do anything wrong.”
“Our operators are professionally trained to react safely in unexpected situations on the road, like the one today in Colwood,” said Maureen Sheehan, with BC Transit. “BC Transit is very glad the boys are OK.”