By CHRIS KITCHING, STAFF REPORTER
GROSSE ISLE — Two people were hurt late Tuesday when a Winnipeg Transit bus and an ambulance collided on a single-lane highway in rural Manitoba.
Mounties said the chartered bus was doing a U-turn on Highway 6, just north of Grosse Isle, when it was hit by the northbound ambulance at 11 p.m.
A male paramedic, who was a passenger in the Ashern-based ambulance, and the male bus driver were rushed in separate ambulances to Stonewall Health Centre, where they were treated and later released.
The bus driver had a superficial leg injury, while the paramedic suffered a broken leg, Headingley RCMP Cpl. Larry Dalman said.
He said charges won’t be considered until officers finish their investigation. Police don’t believe alcohol and drugs were factors.
Mounties said the ambulance driver and a nurse were not injured. They had dropped off a patient at a Winnipeg hospital and were heading back to Ashern, about 160 kilometres north of the city.
There were no passengers on the bus and no patients inside the ambulance, RCMP said.
City Hall spokeswoman Pam Sveinson said the bus was chartered to pick up people at the Hitch ‘n Post, a country-style banquet facility just south of Grosse Isle, which is 20 kilometres north of Winnipeg.
Hitch ‘n Post owner Kyle Anderson said the bus was north of the community because it missed the turn to his business.
Part of the bus peeled away during impact, slightly exposing the cockpit of the vehicle. The passenger side of the ambulance was severely damaged.
The bus ended up on the shoulder of the northbound lane. The ambulance came to a stop a few metres away in the ditch.
Ambulance service to the Ashern area will not be disrupted because the station is using a spare, said Andrew Christenson of the Interlake Regional Health Authority.
A damage estimate was not available. A new ambulance costs about $140,000, but the province buys them in bulk at a cheaper cost, he said.