RCMP say the school bus was part of a “convoy of vehicles” travelling on Highway 40 when the front window shattered. Another car was struck at the same time leading to some anxious moments given a string of recent shootings on the same stretch of road. A thorough investigation determined that the damage to both vehicles was caused by a rock.
Students were on the bus when it happened but no one was injured in the incident. The bus was transporting students from Grande Prairie Catholic Schools. Superintendent Karl Germann says they were notified a few hours after the incident.
“When we spoke with RCMP right off the bat, once they informed us, they indicated to us that there was not a shooting. That in fact it was a rock in the window of a vehicle and a rock in the window of a bus.”
“The RCMP confirmed with us that it was not in fact a shooting,” Germann continued, “or a bullet. Bullets don’t deflect off of windshields. Then we’re not worried about it.”
Germann says they didn’t want to create added anxiety surrounding the stretch of road and also with the school shootings south of the board he calls it stressful time for many. Germann says they informed the principal and teachers of those students involved.
He says safety of their students is always a priority especially when they’re moving around the region. Germann says he thinks the board is taking the right steps focusing on improving the safety of the road in general.
“We are transporting students, whether it’s just to Grovedale or Nitehawk, or if we’re transporting them down further all the way through to Jasper we need to ensure that our families are safe, that our spouses are safe and that our older siblings are safe as well.”
Germann pointed to the much needed expansion of Highway 63 leading into Fort McMurray as an example of a time the public lobbying the government led to change.
The incident happeded just south of Grande Prairie near the Wapiti Bridge.