Okanagan Skaha school district named in suit over fatal crash

School District No. 67 is named in a lawsuit in relation to a fatal motor vehicle crash on Highway 97 near Summerland on June 7, 2011. Three vehicles were involved in the crash, including a school bus carrying a group of Penticton high school students. A 46-year-old Oliver man was killed when he lost control of his car in rainy conditions and struck the bus. The impact of the collision pushed the bus into another vehicle with two occupants.

A petition calling for barriers on the median of Highway 97 between Peachland and Summerland passed its 15,000 signature target on Monday.

As of Monday afternoon, more than 15,600 people had added their name to the online petition. 

Petition originator Mick Harper said the road is steep in parts, with sharp corners and an alignment that lends itself to head-on crashes. 

"Drivers who go too fast or don't adjust their speed for road conditions often drift into oncoming traffic causing serious harm or death," Harper writes on the petition at Change.org

"I urge you to sign this petition to let our politicians know they need to do the right thing, save lives, prevent injuries, and save the costs of health care and insurance claims for the taxpayer," Harper writes. 

A female passenger in a southbound Honda Civic was killed Thursday afternoon when the vehicle struck a transport truck headed in the opposite direction. The highway was closed for several hours. 

The driver of the sedan, a man in his late 30s, and the driver of the truck were injured in the crash. 

Speed relative to conditions are being considered as contributing factors to the fatal crash, police said Monday. 

The stretch of highway has seen many accidents over the years. In June 2011, an Oliver man was killed, and nine students from Princess Margaret Secondary School in Penticton as well as former Olympic swimmer Elaine Tanner and her husband were injured in a three-vehicle crash that started with a car colliding head-on with a school bus.

Police are hoping to speak to anyone who noticed the "pre-collision" driving of the blue Honda Civic involved in last week's crash. Anyone with information is asked to call South Okanagan Traffic Services at 250-499-2250.

The five most crash-prone intersections in Summerland are all along Highway 97, according to data from ICBC. The corners where the most accidents, in order, occur are Prairie Valley Road; Rosedale Avenue; Bentley Road; Johnston Street, and Arkell Road.