News Rockies

Class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of passengers in Icefield tour bus crash near Jasper

The Canadian Press

A class-action lawsuit alleging the defendants 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 Icefield. 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.

Three people were killed and fourteen others suffered life-threatening injuries on July 18th when the all-terrain Ice Explorer lost 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 twenty-seven people.

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

The lead plaintiff is Devon Ernest, 22, from Saskachetwan, who was on the tour with his girlfriend Dionne Durocher and his cousin Winnie Ernest. Durocher died at the scene.

A spokesperson for Pursuit, the company that runs the Columbia Icefield tours, said it couldn’t comment on pending litigation. “We continue to actively support a transparent and multi-agency investigation into the cause of this tragic accident. The results of this investigation, once completed, will be shared with the public,” Tanya Otis said in an email. 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.

Three people were killed and fourteen others suffered life-threatening injuries on July 18th when the all-terrain Ice Explorer lost 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 twenty-seven people.

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

The lead plaintiff is Devon Ernest, 22, from Saskachetwan, who was on the tour with his girlfriend Dionne Durocher and his cousin Winnie Ernest. Durocher died at the scene.

A spokesperson for Pursuit, the company that runs the Columbia Icefield tours, said it couldn’t comment on pending litigation. “We continue to actively support a transparent and multi-agency investigation into the cause of this tragic accident. The results of this investigation, once completed, will be shared with the public,” Tanya Otis said in an email.

By Carol Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter/Grizzly Gazette