Bad tires, slick road cited in fatal collision

The death of an Oliver man in a head-on collision with a school bus last year north of Summerland has been determined.

The death of an Oliver man in a head-on collision with a school bus last year north of Summerland has been linked to wet road conditions and worn tires.

On June 7, 2011 at 5:40 p.m. John Freitas Borba, 46, was northbound on Highway 97, six kilometres north of Summerland.

He was going around a curve when he lost control of his red Chrysler Cirrus, hydroplaning into the southbound lane and hitting a school bus. Borba was killed on impact.

The inadequate tire tread depth for the road conditions was listed as a contributing factor by coroner Chico Newell, who classified the death as accidental. The coroner’s report was made public last week.

RCMP collision reconstructionists determined that the tread on the rear tires of Borba’s car were below the minimum required by the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act regulations.

The coroner’s report said it was an overcast afternoon with full daytime lighting conditions, but there was “an excessive amount of rain which had fallen just before the collision.”

“The RCMP collision reconstructionist stated it can be reasonably assumed that Mr. Borba lost control as a result of hydroplaning,” said Newell.

The school bus was carrying 14 students and one teacher from Princess Margaret Secondary School who were returning from a field trip in Kelowna.

An Olds Alero travelling in the outside lane beside the school bus was sideswiped as the bus driver attempted to avoid the collision.

One student with a head injury was airlifted to Kelowna General Hospital while others received non-life threatening injuries.

The teacher driving the bus, who was pregnant, was taken to hospital but both she and the baby were all right.

Occupants of the third vehicle, former Canadian Olympic swimmer Elaine Tanner and her husband, received minor injuries.



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