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

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

Brewsters Inc. is charged with eight counts under the act, including failing to control hazards and failing to ensure equipment was in safe operating condition. 

Two charges allege the company didn’t mandate seatbelts or maintain seatbelts for an employee. 

The charges, announced Friday afternoon by Alberta Occupational Health and Safety, include failing to ensure workers and passengers were safe on the vehicle and in the vicinity of the worksite. 

Three people were killed and 14 others had life-threatening injuries after a glacier sightseeing vehicle rolled off a road on the Columbia Icefield, about 100 kilometres southeast of Jasper, Alta., on July 18, 2020.

The all-terrain Ice Explorer, carrying 27 people, rolled about 50 metres down a moraine embankment before coming to rest on its roof.

A total of 24 people were injured.

The buses regularly take tourists up a rough, rocky road onto 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.

What caused the rollover of the big-wheeled, off-road tourist bus to lose control remains under investigation. 

The RCMP handed its report into the fatal rollover to the Alberta Crown prosecutor’s office last month. Prosecutors will determine if the evidence warrants any criminal charges. 

The RCMP report has not been released publicly. It was initially promised last spring, then pushed to the fall.

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

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