Tour bus company charged with health and safety violations in fatal Jasper Icefields rollover

The company operating a tour bus that crashed into the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park in 2020 has been charged under Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Brewster Inc. is charged with eight counts under the law, including failing to control hazards and failing to ensure equipment was in good working order.

The charges, announced Friday afternoon by Alberta Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), include failing to ensure the safety of workers and passengers in the vehicle and near the construction site.

Two of the charges allege that Brewster failed to maintain seat belts on the vehicle for his employee on board, or enforce their use.

Four of the counts – one for the employee and three passengers – allege that the company failed to control the “side moraine slope slope hazard”.

The final two charges against the company cite failing to ensure that the equipment would safely perform its intended function and failing to ensure that the equipment was free from obvious defects.

Three people were killed and 14 others suffered life-threatening injuries on July 18, 2020, when one of Brewster’s all-terrain Ice Explorers – a glacier viewing vehicle – ran off a road on the Columbia Icefield, approximately 100 kilometers southeast of Jasper, Alberta. .

The vehicle, carrying 27 people, rolled about fifty meters on a morainic embankment before coming to rest on its roof. A total of 24 people were injured. The bus driver was seriously injured.

As an employer, the charges brought against Brewster by OHS related to the health and safety of its staff and passengers.

RCMP report under review

Buses regularly take tourists up a rugged, rocky road to the Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park.

Crown prosecutors continue to review an RCMP investigation into the crash to determine if criminal charges are warranted in the case.

The cause of the overturning of the big-wheeled off-road tourist bus is under investigation.

The RCMP submitted its report on the fatal rollover to the Alberta Crown Attorney’s office last month. Prosecutors will determine whether the evidence warrants criminal charges.

The RCMP report has not been made public. It was originally promised last spring, then pushed back to the fall.

At least two civil cases seeking compensation for survivors and families of victims have been launched in the accident.