Six players on a northern Saskatchewan high school football team were injured in an accident involving their 15-passenger van near Buffalo Narrows Thursday night.
Five were treated and released after suffering cuts, bruises and head injuries and one student was airlifted to Saskatoon for treatment of more serious injuries.
The injuries are not considered to be life threatening -- but the RCMP say a winch was needed to free one of the passengers from the overturned vehicle.
The accident occurred north of Buffalo Narrows as the van was making its way back to La Loche after a game in Pinehouse.
The RCMP say one of their members is an assistant coach of the team and was in the van at the time, and another Mountie was following behind in another vehicle. Both were able to help the injured students on the scene before more help arrived.
La Loche Community School Principal Stephen King says the students are part of a co-ed football team in the Northern Saskatchewan Football League and the most seriously injured player is a female.
He says people at the school are pretty shaken up by the incident but at the same time grateful injuries were not more serious.
“You know were thankful that no one was killed because certainly it could have been worse,” he says. “Nevertheless, we’re still very concerned about the students that were hurt.”
King says poor road conditions appear to have been a factor in the accident.
“Our bus hit a pothole on a wet road and our driver, when he corrected, the bus went over on its side.”
Buffalo Narrows Mayor Estelle Laliberte says the highway has always been a problem and the accident is a wake up call.
“Luckily there were no fatalities last night,” she says. “Maybe this is a wake up call to the Department of Highways to put Hwy 155 as a priority in their current five-year plan.”
Laliberte says she drives the road at least once a week and it continues to be pounded by heavy trucks which tear the road apart leaving big potholes.
RCMP and first responders were on the scene for most of the night.