Icefield tour bus operator charged under Alberta OHS Act with fatal rollover

The tour bus company involved in a 2020 Icefield accident in Jasper National Park has been charged under the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Act, while the RCMP criminal investigation has concluded.

Brewster Inc. faces eight charges under the OHS Act, relating to “failing to control the risk of the degree of lateral brunette leaning,” failing to force seat belt use, failing to keep seat belts on, and failing to verify the safety of equipment.

The case is scheduled to be heard in a Jasper provincial court on June 23.

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No Responses 1 Year After Columbia Icefield Tour Bus Crash in Jasper National Park

On July 18, 2020, an ice explorer vehicle on the Columbia Icefield rolled down an embankment with 25 people on it. The rollover killed three passengers and 14 others were fatally injured after the red and white Ice Explorer lost control on the road to Athabasca Glacier, about 100 kilometers southeast of Jasper, Alta.

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“What these current OHS charges should do is implement where a company has failed for the health and safety of people,” Basil Bansal, an attorney for a family who was on the ice tracker and saw a member die during the accident, told Global News. . .

Bansal’s customers are one of many plaintiffs in the civil suits and class actions arising from the accident that Brewster faces.


Click to play video: 'No Responses 1 Year After Columbia Icefield Tour Bus Crash in Jasper National Park'







No Responses 1 Year After Columbia Icefield Tour Bus Crash in Jasper National Park


No Responses 1 Year After Columbia Icefield Tour Bus Crash in Jasper National Park – July 18, 2021

He said the charges reveal the OHS’ view of Brewster’s liability.

“We know the injuries suffered and the life lost. But it really shows where the company was negligent and what they could have done to avoid it,” said Bansal, a partner at Diamond and Diamond law firm in Edmonton.

“So we have some answers now.”

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Bansal said his clients and plaintiffs in other lawsuits have been waiting for those answers for nearly two years.

“It’s good to see the government take this seriously. These accusations show the company’s negligence and it is heading in the right direction,” he said.


Click to play video: 'More survivors of Columbia Icefield's rollover lawsuit against tour operator'







More Columbia Icefield rollover survivors file lawsuit against tour operator


More Columbia Icefield rollover survivors file lawsuit against tour operator – October 1, 2020

“But unfortunately, the lives of our customers will not be the same.”

A Friday press release from the Alberta government also said the criminal investigation was done separately from Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety.

Pursuit, the company that runs the Icefield bus tours, said in an emailed statement that it could not comment on details of the case because of legal proceedings.

“We continue to support a transparent, multi-agency investigation into this tragic accident,” he said.

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7 more survivors of Columbia Icefield rollover near Jasper file lawsuit against tour operator

The RCMP is aware of the allegations under the OHS Act and has shared all information gathered with the OHS investigation, the press release said.

A final RCMP report on the rollover was not publicly released, but was presented to Alberta prosecutors in April.

The Crown will determine whether the evidence supports any criminal charges.


Click to play video: 'Former drivers say Columbia Icefield tour buses are riddled with safety issues, poor maintenance'







Former drivers say Columbia Icefield tour buses are riddled with safety issues, poor maintenance


Former drivers say Columbia Icefield tour buses are riddled with safety issues, poor maintenance – July 24, 2020

Bansal said an RCMP report and possible criminal charges could provide more answers to questions from customers like him about the Athabasca Glacier capsizing.

He said he has also been a passenger on the ice tracker and hopes the OHS charges will change the way Brewster and other tour companies operate.

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“The whole point of these OHS charges is to implement measures like seat belts, driver training, mechanical records and checks so that these issues don’t happen again,” Bansal said.

–with archives from The Canadian Press

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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