Second statement of Superintendent Rob Lasson, Officer in Charge of Major Crime Services

June 16, 2023
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Statement

The collision that occurred near Carberry yesterday has captured the attention of the nation and of the world, and we have been inundated with offers of assistance and words of support.

Our investigators have been working through the night in order to obtain accurate, meaningful evidence, which they were able to do because of the initial response.

Officers from the local Blue Hills RCMP and RCMP Traffic Services officers were the initial responders.

These officers gave assistance to those who needed it and did a fantastic job controlling and maintaining the scene during those first crucial moments in the investigation.

The scene was cleared at 2:25 this morning and the highway was re-opened.

Yesterday, I told you that we would provide you with answers as the investigation progressed.

Today, we have some answers for you.

We fully recognize that timeliness is important for the families of those involved in the collision as well as for a nation that is grieving alongside them.

With the assistance of Shared Health Manitoba, the 10 people injured in this collision have been identified.

This means that anyone else who was on this bus is presumed to be deceased.

However, the deceased have not been individually identified at this time.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is here today and will speak to their processes in this regard upon any questions.

For the last few hours, RCMP have been having very difficult conversations with family members notifying them that their loved one is among the 15 believed to be deceased.

These are answers, but not the kind people were hoping for.

Our most heartfelt sympathies are with the families who have learned today that their loved one died in this collision.

Please know the RCMP is here for you and we are grieving alongside you.

As much as everyone is hurting right now, investigators are continuing their important work of finding answers.

We are now in a position to provide you with an investigational update.

I will preface the information that I am about to provide with a clear statement. We are not assigning culpability or laying any blame at this point. We are stating facts as we know them.

The investigation is still ongoing with a lot of work to be done to 100 percent confirm responsibility

The age range of those in the bus was 58-88 years old. In total, there were 19 females and 6 males on the bus. Of the survivors, 6 are female and 4 are male.

I will now provide you with some investigative details on what has transpired.

We have obtained video footage of the collision from the semi-trailer.

The video indicates that the bus entered the roadway where the truck had the right of way.

Extensive analysis is being done on the video before any further determinations are made.

We have seized the bus and the semi-truck. Both have been secured. Further analysis will take place.

We are determining whether the semi had an event data recorder that will help us ascertain a number of critical pieces of information, such as speed, exact coordinates, and mechanical status.

Investigators have taken witness statements from passing motorists. Those statements corroborate what we are seeing on the video.

We have not spoken with the driver of the bus, as he is still being treated in hospital. Our primary concern at this time is his care and recovery

We have also spoken with the driver of the semi truck, which is helping progress the investigation.

Those are the answers we can provide right now. We are continuing to collect and analyze evidence, and will provide further investigational updates as we progress.

Last night, RCMP officers spoke to every single family.

After hearing the emotions and concerns of the families, the RCMP has set up a second family support centre, so we now have one in Dauphin and one in Winnipeg.

Each family will be presented with a direct RCMP contact they can reach out to.

We know this is of the utmost importance.

It is imperative that we all respect what the families are going through at this time.

With the news that 15 families have received today, we ask that they have privacy to grieve.

The investigation is continuing, and our commitment to keeping you updated remains the same.

If anyone has any information or videos to share, please contact your local detachment.

–30–

Date modified: