VANCOUVER — One man is confirmed dead in a collision between a passenger bus carrying dozens of people and a car on a notorious stretch of Highway 1 south of Chase, in B.C.'s Interior, say police and firefighters.
The accident happened about 4 p.m. Friday, at the start of a holiday long-weekend, and involved a bus that was carrying as many as 60 people.
Lt. David Sakaki of Kamloops Fire Rescue said when he arrived on scene members of Chase Fire Rescue were already responding and a BC Ambulance helicopter had just landed.
"Unfortunately, there was one fatality," he said. "The driver of the vehicle, the lone driver of the vehicle was killed in the incident."
Chase RCMP Const. Brian Blaikie said that a small black car travelling westbound toward Kamloops went into the oncoming lane and hit a private charter bus head-on.
He said first responders are working to extract the deceased man from the vehicle.
"The vehicle spun from the impact and the bus went off-road," said Blaikie.
He said the cause of the crash is not yet known.
Alyshia Higgins with the B.C. Ambulance Service said three people were in serious condition and 20 patients with non-life-threatening injuries were rushed to Royal Inland Hospital.
One air ambulance and six ground ambulances responded, she said.
Michaela Swann, a spokeswoman for Interior Health authority, said they expected as many as 57 people to the hospital, whose injuries range from serious to minor.
The crash, which is the third to involve a tour bus in B.C.'s Interior in a year, has closed the highway in both directions.
The accident happened in the area known as Hoffman's Bluff, a two-lane stretch of road that the provincial government announced earlier this year would be upgraded to four lanes to improve safety through the area.
Rick Berrigan, mayor of Chase, B.C., said the stretch is a winding, rock-faced piece of the highway with no residents in the area.
"Hoffman's Bluff has always been a big concern to the travellers on Highway 1," he said.
The government is in the process of widening the highway, but Berrigan didn't know if the crash was in the same spot as the construction.
Berrigan said the highway is extremely busy, especially during the summer.
"It's obviously a very tragic situation. We need that four laning done quick."
Blaikie said Hoffman's Bluff is a well-known location in Chase with a number of collisions every year.
ALSO ON HUFFPOST: