Updated at 3:00 PM (Christmas Day)
Tragedy on Christmas Eve.
According to the RCMP, a commercial passenger bus rollover on Highway 97C east of Merritt resulted in multiple fatalities and injuries to passengers.
Last night (Saturday, December 24) just after 6:00, the BC Highway Patrol and Merritt RCMP were advised of a single vehicle collision around Loon Lake.
Police and emergency services responded and located a commercial passenger bus that had gone off the road to the left and rolled onto its passenger side coming to rest in the eastbound lanes.
Preliminary information indicates the bus was travelling westbound prior to the collision.
No other vehicles were involved.
The driver of the bus is cooperating with the RCMP.
According to police, four passengers were found deceased and about 53 patients were transported to four Interior Health hospitals.
Upon arrival 36 patients were assessed and treated for injuries that ranged from serious to minor.
According to Interior Health, as of 9:30 a.m. today (Sunday), eight patients remained in the care of hospitals in Penticton, Kelowna and Kamloops.
For those remaining in hospital, two are in serious condition and two have non-life threatening injuries.
The road conditions were described as very poor with ice and snow on the road surface along with rain and hail falling.
This matter is still under active investigation.
A central phone line (250-545-2211) has been established for families needing information about the location of loved ones.
Anyone that witnessed the collision or have dash-cam video of the Bus travelling prior to the collision is asked to contact the RCMP.
Our thoughts are with the families and patients, as well as the many first responders who were at the scene and who were impacted by this tragic incident. A patient update is available at https://t.co/Y48VbAJoG9 https://t.co/MJCYxOA7Nd
— Interior Health (@Interior_Health) December 25, 2022
–Files by Hartley Miller, My Prince George Now