A school bus carrying a group of teenage campers overturned on a winding highway in Idaho, resulting in injuries to 11 individuals. The Idaho State Police reported that seven of the injured were in critical condition, while four sustained non-critical injuries. As of 5:45 p.m., no fatalities had been reported. The bus was transporting approximately 30 campers and staff members from the Treasure Valley YMCA’s camp at Horsethief Reservoir back to Boise. All the teenagers on board, aged between 13 and 18, were taken to nearby hospitals for evaluation.
The Valley County Sheriff’s Office was alerted to the accident around 3 p.m., prompting a swift response from various law enforcement and emergency medical agencies. St. Luke’s Health System, located in Boise and Meridian, was attending to multiple patients and working towards reuniting families, according to spokesperson Taylor Reeves Marschner. The President and CEO of the Treasure Valley YMCA, David Duro, acknowledged the dangers that took place that afternoon. However, he reassured that all campers, both on the crashed bus and the one following behind, had safely returned to the Boise area. Riding the bus is typically an enjoyable part of the camp experience, and Duro expressed uncertainty about the cause of the incident, stating that an investigation was underway.
The YMCA camp that the bus was coming back from offers activities such as canoeing, archery, and zip-lining. The camp is situated approximately 35 miles north of the crash site. It hosts multiple sessions throughout the summer for children ranging from 2nd to 11th grade. The YMCA frequently arranges transportation for the campers, with several buses shuttling them to and from each session. Another session is scheduled to commence on Sunday, and officials are currently deliberating whether to proceed as planned. Families have the option to personally drive their children to the camp if they prefer. Duro expressed hope that this incident would be an isolated occurrence and emphasized the YMCA’s commitment to reviewing any reports to enhance safety measures.
The YMCA collaborates with Caldwell Transportation to transport children to and from the camp using school buses. Caldwell Transportation also serves as a transportation provider for numerous area schools throughout the academic year.
The crash resulted in the closure of both lanes of Highway 55 for several hours. This two-lane road is one of Idaho’s primary north-south routes, frequently congested with weekend travelers heading from the Boise region to the popular vacation destination of McCall and nearby campsites.