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B.C. highway reopened after school bus, pedestrian crashes that killed 1 and sent 14 to hospital

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Traffic began moving again overnight on Highway 97 north of Lac La Hache after a pair of crashes – one involving a school bus – left one person dead and sent 14 people to hospital Friday afternoon.

The first crash happened shortly before 1 p.m., sending the bus – which was transporting children from 100 Mile and Horse Lake elementary schools – off the highway and down an embankment.

The second collision happened at the same location – near the intersection of the highway and Butler Road – and left a pedestrian dead.

BC Emergency Health Services said in social media updates Friday night that it had provided "a variety of levels of care" to 36 patients at the scene.

Seven people were taken to hospital by air ambulance and another seven were transported by ground ambulance.

Eleven ambulances and seven helicopters were dispatched to the scene shortly after the bus crash, according to BCEHS.

The students were returning from a field trip to Gavin Lake when the bus crashed, according to the local superintendent.

In a statement Friday, Chris van der Mark said the district was reaching out to parents to inform them of the incident, and that anyone with a child on the bus should meet at a "reunification site" at the South Cariboo Recreation Centre in 100 Mile House.

Highway 97 was closed in both directions for several hours after the crash. Shortly after 2 a.m. Saturday, DriveBC shared on social media that the route had reopened.

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