Oliver man killed in crash remembered for his caring smile

RCMP have released the name of the man who died in a motor vehicle collision with a school bus near Summerland last week

RCMP have released the name of the man who died in a motor vehicle collision with a school bus near Summerland last week.

John Freitas Borba, a 46-year-old man from Oliver, was driving northbound in a red Chrysler Cirrus when he crossed into the oncoming lane of Highway 97 and struck the school bus carrying students and one teacher from Princess Margaret Secondary School who were returning from a field trip in Kelowna. Borba was killed in the accident.

Friends and family have started a Facebook group in honour of Borba, who most recently worked at Lakeside Casino.

“He came with a heart and a sense of humour as big as his smile,” wrote one person. “You couldn’t be in his presence without feeling great and sharing a laugh.”

Another commented that Borba was always smiling and would go out of his way to ask how a person was doing and make them feel special. Borba volunteered his time with the Knights of Columbus, the CNIB, Big Brothers and the Catholic Church Youth Group.

One student was airlifted to Kelowna General Hospital while others suffered minor injuries in the accident. The teacher driving the bus, who is pregnant, was taken to hospital. Wendy Hyer, superintendent of schools for School District 67, said after the accident the teacher was monitored due to her pregnancy and both her and the baby’s vital signs were listed as “good.”

“The teacher is out of the hospital now and hoping to return to work shortly. The student in Kelowna has regained consciousness. She is still in the hospital, but things are progressing nicely and the CAT scan was clear. She has been conscious more and more each day,” said Hyer on Tuesday.

The Chrysler Cirrus hit the school bus head on, causing the school bus to be pushed into a second southbound vehicle. RCMP believe the heavy downpour of rain was a contributing factor in the fatal accident.