The BC Coroners Service confirms that the two University of Victoria students killed in a bus crash near Bamfield on Friday are an 18-year-old woman from Manitoba and an 18-year-old man from the United States.
The RCMP says the teens were from Winnipeg and Iowa City, Iowa.
It says the families of both victims were notified over the weekend.
Forty-five students, two teaching assistants and a driver were on the bus to Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre when it rolled down an embankment about 40 kilometres from Port Alberni.
Huu-ay-aht First Nation chief Robert Dennis, who came upon the scene minutes after the crash, says he heard the driver say he was affected by the lights of an oncoming vehicle.
A student who was on the bus told CHEK News she also noticed a flash of light before the bus veered to the right.
It appears the driver was unable to maneuver the bus back on to the road after the wheels on that side went off the road or the soft shoulder gave away. The bus then rolled onto its side and slid down the slope.
Several students were injured, one remains in hospital.
The RCMP says the driver of a second vehicle who was in the area at the time of the collision, remained at the scene and provided assistance.
The cause of the collision remains under investigation, including whether the driver played any role in the collision. Alcohol has been ruled out as a contributing factor.
The bus was operated by the Wilson’s Group.
“The bus involved was a 2001 Prevost XL2, this bus was recently inspected and passed all regulatory requirements and was equipped with seat restraints,” reads a statement from John Wilson.
“The driver is an experienced driver, with driver training certification. He sustained non-life threatening injuries and has been released from hospital.”
The students were headed to the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre for two days of research activities.
The university opened counselling services for students for six hours Sunday, and says the school will make allowances and provide additional support for students to help them in their studies.
A message from UVic President Jamie Cassels reads
“As you return to campus this morning, I know many of you share my sense of sorrow following the devastating accident Friday night in which two UVic students were killed and several others were injured.”
Cassels says that University staff from several departments worked long hours throughout the weekend to meet with the students and their families and to provide for their immediate and ongoing needs.
MultiFaith Services is also providing a space on Monday and throughout the week for people to have quiet reflection.
with files from Canadian Press