Saturday evening, just after 9pm: large snowflakes are falling and the emergency services have blocked road 824, also known as the old E4. The reason is a city bus that has gone off the road and is lying on its side. The windows of the bus have been cut out, a method used to get the driver and passengers out of the vehicle. Two passengers, both teenagers, were travelling on the bus towards Skellefteå. One of them, an 18-year-old man, died in the accident and the other, a 16-year-old, is now in hospital with serious injuries.
After the accident, the management team of Skellefteå Bus gathered at the Eastern Hub on both Saturday evening and Sunday morning. The mood in the company is sombre, says CEO Marie Larsson.
– This is a very difficult event, and there are many sad drivers among us. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families.
The bus driver was not injured but is in shock.
– He is physically OK, but this is a very difficult time for him.
Police have impounded the bus and cordoned off the scene.
– Now the bus is with us at the Eastern Hub. When an accident like this happens, there is always an investigation. My impression is that the road conditions were poor, says Marie Larsson.
Trafikverket is responsible for the route.
– We have spoken to Trafikverket. They were also on site. The problem is that there was so much precipitation in such a short time.
Should the bus have been cancelled?
– We had no indication that it should have been. In general, the traffic was running quite well. We had no indication that it was going to be that difficult on that stretch.
This particular stretch is often discussed as being problematic to drive on.
– I understand that too. There are corners and downhill sections. It can lead to discussions about whether something can be done about it, such as more road maintenance. But that's a question for Trafikverket.