Blog Post #1228 – Class-Action Lawsuit after Fatal Icefield Bus Crash

Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine

A class-action Lawsuit alleging the defendant’s acted recklessly and unreasonably has been filed against the operators of a tour bus involved in a fatal rollover at Jasper National Park’s Columbia Ice Field.

Three people were killed and 14 other suffered life-threatening injuries on July 18, 2020 when the all-terrain Ice Explorer loss control while carrying passengers on the road to the Athabasca Glacier.

The bus rolled about 50 meters down a Moraine embankment before coming to rest on its roof the bus was carrying 27 people.

Named in the statement of claim filed in Calgary are Brewster travel Canada Inc., Viad Corp., Glacier Park Inc., Brewster Inc., Brewster Tours, Banff-Jasper Collection Holding Corp. and the unidentified driver of the coach.

“The defendants knew or ought to have known that there was a significant risk to the and class members and that the accident was a reasonably foreseeable result of failing to take adequate measures to prevent such incidents,” reads the claim.

“The accident was caused solely by the negligence, gross negligence, or intent of the defendants.”

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

The lead plantiff is Devon Ernest, 22, from North Battlefield Saskatchewan, who was on the tour with his girlfriend, Dionne Durocher of Canoe Narrows, and his cousin Winnie Ernest.

Durocher died at the scene. Meanwhile, Ernest suffered a concussion, a fractured wrist and lacerations to his head and hands.

My opinion

My wife, Angela, and her three 1st cousins and spouses from England, were on that very icefield around the same time in 2019. We really enjoyed the experience. Mind you, what a difference a year can make. I can only imagine what they families are going through.

I was kind of wondering if there was going to be repercussions after the accident.

The trip down the hill to the ice field took a few minutes going down a very steep slope, one that I may have described as a steep roller coaster-type event.  I know I wondered what would happen if the brakes ever went.

The machines were very unique (one of a kind) and large. The transmission was set in low so as not to speed down the hill. Again, the slope was severe enough to wonder what might happen if the transmission ever failed.

As a permanent corrective action I may suggest making the grade to the ice field one with a gradual slope, one that would allow other type of machines to travel up and down with relative safety.

Just a thought.

HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.

We can also be reached at 

Ensure your workplace is a safe place.

Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”

‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.

Daniel L. Beal

CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.


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