Greyhound in BC Collection

Greyhound at the Hope Slide Saturday January 9 1965

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Greyhound at the Hope Slide Saturday January 9 1965

Anyone who knows of the Greyhound bus that was turned the morning of the Hope Slide at the Trites Ranch Road knows Dave Hughes was at the wheel. Almost nobody knows Jim Kellett was also turned around and that a third driver was there as a passenger riding with Dave. The bus from Calgary was one hour late arriving in Penticton, this was Jim’s regular run, the Vancouver runs were still Home Terminal Penticton and he left Penticton at 0130, one hour late with about 35 passengers. Dave, who worked the Vancouver Spareboard at the time had left with the overload which was made up in Penticton of transferring passengers from the local trip from up the OK Valley and people boarding in Penticton, 19 in total at 0100 30 minutes behind schedule time. Dave did the road work and by the time he left Pinewoods Lodge he had about 25 on board and had made up 15 minutes. Norm Stephanishin had left Kamloops at 2030 in his Arrow Transfer Kenworth truck and pup tanker with a load of gasoline for a station in Kelowna and was continuing to Vancouver to pick up a load of aviation fuel for return to Kamloops. This was a common trip for Norm, one that he had been doing for six years for Northwest Bulk Carriers which was a partnership of Transco & Arrow, the partnership dissolved and he was now employed by Arrow. A 1957 yellow Chev convertible had played leap frog with him several times during the night until he caught them one last time stuck in a snow slide just west of the area now known as Sunshine Valley. Norm didn’t like the look of the slide, he had never before seen one at this same spot. It was about a mile to a spot where he could turn his empty truck and pup, not that easy in the darkness. He tried to talk the three occupants into coming with him, the boys tried to talk him into pulling the car out of the slide. During this time Tom Starchuk arrived with a load of hay bales he was hauling from Grandview Flats to the Fraser Valley. Tom decided to stay in his truck for a nap so Norm suggested one boy, the driver of the Chevy, Bernie Beck, stayed in Tom’s cab to keep warm and told the other boy and girl to sit in his KW for warmth. That would be the last time he saw his Kenworth, it and the boy and girl were never found. Tom Starchuk and Bernie Beck were found after an extensive search some time later. Norm set off for Sumallo Lodge and had only walked a short distance when Dave arrived with GLC 142 an MC-1.image They backed up to the side road where Dave could turn around and waited a few minutes for Jim Kellett to arrive with his MC-3image who was also turned around. They drove back to Sumallo Lodge to call the Dept of Highways to clear the small slide. They also stopped a Trimble tanker driven by Wally Reagh of Coquitlam and the CP Royal Mail truck driven by Len Lloyd of Penticton, a friend of Jim. The telephone was out of service at Sumallo also the Radio repeater wouldn’t work. Bob Sowden the son of the Sumallo Lodge owners had to drive to Allison Pass to notify Highways. At first light Jim Kellett and Len Lloyd drove to see the extent of the slide in Len’s Mack and couldn’t believe their eyes. When Bob Sowden returned from Allison Pass Norm Stephanishin helped him start the tow-truck and went with Bob to tow the Chevy and were shocked at the scene. Dave’s passengers included a Vancouver Spareboard driver. This driver had taken a ski charter to Manning Park Friday night and decided to ride home to Vancouver instead of spending two nights there and planned to ride back up Sunday morning to return his group to Vancouver late Sunday. When Jim and Len returned to Sumallo they left soon after eastbound to travel to Vancouver via Princeton, Spences Bridge and the Fraser Canyon, a 500 mile trip from Penticton and about nine hours late arriving in Vancouver. Jim didn’t have enough rest before his return trip to Penticton so he was cushioned home from Vancouver. Norm Stephanishin went with Dave Hughes to Princeton and Jim Kellett told the Vancouver spare driver to leave Dave at Pinewoods and stay with his bus and passengers as he would not be able to come back up Sunday, Jim said it would be lucky if the road was open in a month! He as much as told Jim he knew what was best and he could manage his own trip. Upon arrival in Vancouver and after hearing a passengers complaint regarding his actions during the trip he was suspended by the Regional Manager and subsequently terminated. He returned to school and was called to the Bar, that figures. Penticton had to drive one of their spare Drivers to Manning Park to pick up the frozen bus and Deadhead another to pick up the skiers. Jim Kellett retired in 1975, Dave Hughes about 1980. Norm Stephanishin stayed with Arrow until 1970, when he went to work for the Kamloops School District until retirement.

A complete story of The Hope Slide can be found in Frank Anderson’s Frontier Book Number 12
Thanks to Red Sutherland & Jim Vecchio for info.
Northwest Bulk Carriers Kenworth, from Kamloops, BC, taken in April 1960 at the Flood Cafe and Truck Stop. Norman Stephanishin driver. This is what was left of the front axle of the pup trailer. Later they found the rest of the trailer, but the truck was never found. Len Lloyd is standing next to his OK Valley Freight Lines Mack, which had the Royal Mail contract. Taken in April 1960 at the Flood Cafe and Truck Stop.
Photo of Dave Hughes
taken from the
Greyhound Lines Vancouver Division 1968 Publication
Photo by Joe Murrell
Canadian Greyhound driver, Davie Hughes with G77, an MCI Courier 95 coach. This model is shorter than the 96 which was 35 feet and had air-ride. The 95’s were spring jobs. This photo was taken at the Flood Cafe and Truck Stop in July 1960.
Photo of Jim Kellett
taken from the
Greyhound Lines Vancouver Division 1968 Publication
Photo by Joe Murrell
Jim Kellett. He was the Greyhound driver that arrived at the Hope Slide. This photo was taken at Brassie’s retirement party November 1976 one year after his own retirement in November 1975.
Jim Kellett passed away in 1988 age 73, Norm Stephanishin in 2005 age 86 and Dave Hughes in 2014 age 88
Canadian Greyhound G110, an MC-1, was the new look MCI coach introduced in 1958. The MC-1 was a 41 passenger Detroit 4-71. Canada Greyhound 181, an MC-3
was a 39 passenger Detroit 6-71 and A/C & washroom equipped.
The Hope Standard story about the Hope Slide

Here is copy of The Hope Standard from January 13, 1965 when the paper reported about the Hope Slide that took place on January 9, 1965 at 6:50am.

Note: You will need Adobe Reader in order to view this document.

Phil Gaglardi and Norm Stephanishin

Norm Stephanishin & Phil Gaglardi on the Hope Slide story
(taken at Kamloops City Hall when Phil was mayor on the 25 year anniversary, January 1990). Diana Stephanishin Collection.

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