Bus full of B.C. Junior B hockey players slides off highway

“We all just launched out of our seats.”

A bus full of Junior B Hockey players from Princeton BC slid off the highway in the early hours of Sunday morning.

At least one player, as well as the driver, were transported to Princeton General Hospital as a precautionary measure and were later released, according to Princeton Posse head coach Mark McNaughton.

The accident occurred at 1 a.m. on Highway 5A, near Otter Lake Road.

McNaughton credited the bus driver’s quick actions with preventing a more serious crash.

“He actually did a phenomenal job.”

The bus “hit some ice” and started to slide while attempting to negotiate a 90 degree turn, said McNaughton.

“He started started sliding and he adjusted to go the right way…he steered it straight into a snow bank instead over towards the embankment.”

The bus avoided a seven foot plunge, he said.

The team was returning from a Saturday night game in 100 Mile House and many of the players were asleep at the time of the accident.

Ethan Schmor, who spoke with The Spotlight Sunday morning, said the incident was “pretty scary.”

“I was asleep and then there was the biggest bang ever and we all just launched out of our seats.”

He said the coach made sure each rider was okay, and then spent time keeping people calm while they waited for police and ambulance.

The accident occurred about 50 km from Princeton, and the call went out for team volunteers to come from town and shuttle the players back to their homes.

McNaught said the bus was damaged, but was able to be driven to Princeton Sunday morning.

“Fourteen years of riding hockey busses and this is the first accident I’ve dealt with.”

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