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Bus crash victims housed at local hotel


After enduring a harrowing night on the way to a figure skating competition in Clarenville, the victims of last night’s bus crash near Grand Falls-Windsor are safe in a hotel and “comfortable” according to a spokesman.

Personal items littered the snow this morning after this bus was returned to its wheels. The bus crashed at the west entrance to Grand Falls-Windsor just before 10:30 last night with 55 people on board. The group was made up of representatives from the Silver Blades Figure Skating Club, Corner Brook, on their way to a competition in Clarenville.

The mood in the lobby of the Mount Peyton was mixed among the 55 members of the Silver Blades Figure Skating Club and parents who were pulled from the wreck when their bus overturned just before 10:30 near Beothuck Park at the western end of Grand Falls-Windsor.

The younger accident victims seemed less shaken by what had occurred and used the area in front of a fireplace as a play area. Impromptu puppet shows were the order of the day as they entertained each other (and their parents) while awaiting the next move in responding to their ordeal.

“They’re shaken, but doing really good,” said Bev Power chair for Skate Canada’s Newfoundland and Labrador Division. “They’re a really supportive bunch of one another. Fortunately Lisa Young, one of the team’s coaches has been there a long, long time, and they’ve really rallied around each other.

“They’re just trying to deal with what the accident has given them, trying to remain positive,” Power continued. “Their spirits are up. Some of the kids are playing games, they’ve scheduled team meals for the day so they’re all together and counseling has been offered.”

Some of the older girls visited the lobby as well from an area for the group to lounge. One was in a cast and had a noticeable limp; another had an arm in a sling. The victim with the sling retrieved a prescription from an adult.

The older girls appeared to be more shaken, more sullen, still visibly shaking from the effects. 

Power, who was dealing with all media on behalf of the club, preferred not to discuss the level of injuries.

“I don’t have any update on the injuries at this time until I get full information,” she told the Advertiser. “I wouldn’t want to compromise anyone’s privacy.”

She did say that the group was pleased with the way they were received after the accident.”

“They did tell me the staff at the hotel has been awesome.” Power continued.

The Salvation Army brought toiletries, but they also brought games and stuffed animals. “That was wonderful and it will help the children in getting through this difficult situation for sure,” she said.

“We have to say, the people of Grand Falls-Windsor have been outstanding,” she stated. “From the first responders, to the Salvation Army, to the medical team, we are so grateful.

“As a community, your people have a lot to be proud of in how they responded.”

The Club withdrew from the Clarenville competition and will be at the hotel overnight awaiting a break in the weather before returning to the west coast.

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