Video: Quick reaction by charter bus driver prevents deadly head-on with semi near Revelstoke

Quick evasive driving actions by a charter bus driver likely saved the lives of many passengers after a semi-trailer travelling in the wrong lane nearly led to a catastrophic head-on collision.

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A frame from the bus driver's dash cam a split second before a semi-trailer travelling in the oncoming lane nearly struck the passenger bus. Photo: Video handout

The quick actions of a charter bus driver likely saved his life and those of his seven passengers after he swerved to avoid an oncoming tractor-trailer truck that was driving on the wrong side of the highway.

The incident happened on the Trans-Canada Highway three kilometres east of Revelstoke at about 3 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 7.

As can be seen in the video embedded below, the bus was travelling in its own eastbound lane in the dark. The oncoming tractor-trailer can be seen approaching, but it’s only apparent at the last second that the truck is in fact driving on the wrong side of the highway. The incident happened on an undivided, two-lane stretch of the road. The double-yellow line is clearly visible in the video.

At the last possible moment, the bus driver swerves into the ditch, avoiding a catastrophic head-on. The bus did make a sideswiping contact with the truck, showing just how close a call it was. The driver can be heard swearing after his brush with death.

In a statement, Revelstoke RCMP are once again singling out transport trucks for unsafe driving practices in the area. Just last week, the local RCMP implored transport truck drivers to slow down and drive within posted limits, and according to conditions. This plea came after a transport truck wipeout west of Revelstoke.

Once again, Revelstoke detachment spokesperson Staff-Sgt. Kurt Grabinsky asked commercial truck drivers to slow down and drive safely:

Considering the recent volume of commercial vehicle incidents in the area, the Revelstoke RCMP and BC RCMP Traffic Services would like to remind all drivers that roadways are constructed for safe driving at the posted speed limit. Driving to road conditions means travelling at a rate which ensures the ability to safely maintain your lane and stay on the road. All drivers are encouraged to slow down: drive the speed limit, (advisory or variable speed limits), and do their part to ensure that everyone gets to their destination safely.

This latest near-miss follows years of complaints from Revelstoke residents about the changing nature of commercial vehicle traffic on highways in the area, including many anecdotal near-death experiences.

This latest incident follows revelations last week that fatal accidents on highways that had their speed limits increased in 2014 have more than doubled since before 2014.

In this latest incident, the road was closed for under an hour and the driver received a Motor Vehicle Act ticket.

Aaron Orlando
Aaron Orlando is the Creative Director of revelstokemountaineer.com and Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine. He's worked in Revelstoke as a journalist and editor for the past 12 years. If you have tips on Revelstoke news, events, outdoor life, community or anything else, contact Aaron at aaron@revelstokemountaineer.com or call/text Aaron at 250-814-8710.