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University of Victoria denies liability in 2019 bus crash that killed two students

About 20 civil lawsuits have been filed by crash survivors.
Search and rescue crews and RCMP help a tow-truck crew remove the bus from an embankment next to a logging road near Bamfield on Sept. 14, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
The University of Victoria is denying liability in a 2019 bus crash during a student field trip to Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre, according to court documents.Two first-year students were killed and several others injured when a Wilson’s Transportation bus carrying 45 University of Victoria students and two staff slid off the gravel road to ­Bamfield and went down an embankment on Sept. 13, 2019.

About 20 civil lawsuits have been filed by crash survivors, seeking compensation for future care and medical treatment and lost earning capacity, among other damages. The civil notices of claim are not part of a class-action suit, though their claims for compensation are similar.

UVic is among the last of the defendants to file its response to the claims, which also targeted Wilson’s Transportation, bus driver Donald Middleton, Smith Transportation Limited, Western Forest Products, TFL 44 LP and TFL General Partner, the society doing business as Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre, and the B.C. government via the Ministry of Transportation.

Injuries cited by the claimants include mild to moderate traumatic brain injury and post-concussive symptoms, broken bones, cuts and scarring, and post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

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