Eighteen Selkirk College students and staff members, primarily from the Explore Program, were on the BC Transit bus that was involved in the collision. One student suffered serious injury in the crash and was transferred to Kelowna hospital on the evening of June 30. Sadly, the student has since passed away.
A statement from Selkirk College President Maggie Matear:
It is with profound sadness that I inform the college community of the untimely and sudden passing of a student in the Explore Program. Our hearts go out to the students’ family and friends, to whom we offer our most sincere condolences. The college community grieves with the other students in the program, our faculty and staff who were just getting to know the student, and all those who are feeling this tremendous loss.
All other students and staff involved in the accident were taken to Kootenay Lake Hospital to be assessed and were released on the evening of June 30. Selkirk College staff and community members have been providing trauma support, counselling and tending to the needs of all those involved since the onset of the incident.
Selkirk College is obligated to protect the privacy of all involved. No further information will be released at this time. RCMP are conducting the accident investigation and will release suitable information.
The Explore Program is an intensive five-week applied language program that is funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage, administered through the Council of Ministers of Education Canada and delivered through Selkirk College. The program includes 19 students from Quebec who arrived in the region in late-June to immerse themselves in English. Selkirk College delivers the Explore Program with the addition of 40 international English Language Program (ELP) students who arrived at the beginning of July as part of the broader language and cultural exchange based out of Nelson.
Mental health supports are available for students or employees who are feeling the impact of this incident:
- Here2Talk is a multi-lingual mental health support for students that is available 24/7 via app, phone 1-877-857-3397 or here2talk.ca.
- Confidential student counselling from Selkirk College professionals is available and can booked through the Welcome Centre at 1-888-953-1133.
- Homewood Health is the employee family assistance program for employees that provides free counselling services. Homewood Health can be accessed 24/7 by contacting 1-800-663-1142.