Eastman, QB Bus Plunges Into Lake Drowning Forty-One, Aug 1978


Eastman, Quebec (AP) -- A bus carrying mentally ill and othr handicapped persons home fram an evening at the theater plunged into a lake Friday night and 41 of them drowned, police said. They said the driver and six assistants to the group survived.
It was the worst bus accident in Canadian history.
One of the survivors, ALAIN POULIOT, said the brakes failed, the bus began speeding, the driver couldn't turn and headed right into the water. He said the victims ranged in age from 14 to 85.
Police said the bus was traveling on a secondary road between Eastman and the mining town of Asbestos, 35 miles to the northeast, when it crashed into Lac d'Argent around midnight.
The group was returning to Asbestos after seeing a performance at the Marjolaine Theater in Eastman, which is 50 miles southeast of Montreal.
Police said the group belonged to an association which often made similar trips and came from private homes, not a hospital.
Divers were dragging nearby Lac d'Argent early today, assisted by about 30 policemen. The water where the bus crashed was about 20 feet deep.
The worst bus accident in Canada in recent memory occurred in January 1967, when 19 students and a bus driver were killed when a packed school bus drove into the path of a freight train at crossing at Dorion, near Montreal.
In June, 1974, 14 members of a golden age club were killed and 31 injured when a bus plunged 60 feet into a ravine near St. Joseph de la Rive, about 70 miles northeast of Quebec City.

Daily Globe Ironwood Michigan 1978-08-05