Three dead, 23 injured when Ottawa bus struck transit shelter Friday

Cheryl Sanders
January 12, 2019

Witnesses told local media the OC Transpo Route 269 bus swerved moments before slamming into the bus shelter overhang at the Westboro station west of downtown.

The incident occurred just before 4 p.m. on Friday, when a double-decker bus bound for the Bridlewood neighbourhood in Kanata inexplicably swerved off the road and struck a bus shelter at the Westboro Station.

Two of the dead were riding the bus; one was on the platform at Westboro station, a major stop on the city's busway, Watson said. The bus could have been holding as many as 90 passengers.

"There's no question that the weather adds complexity at the scene", said Bordeleau said.

"The driver of the bus, there was a requirement for us to arrest her at the scene and she's been transported at our headquarters for interviewing", said Chief Police Charles Bordeleau.

A passenger who had been on the upper deck of the bus told CBC News that people at the front were pinned under their seats. Overall, 23 people were injured in the incident, 17 were sent to hospital, and Ottawa paramedics say several are in serious condition.

"Our hearts and condolences go out to all those injured, those family members who have lost loved ones and their families", Watson said.

"The safety and the security of our transit system and our riders is our top priority", he said. "I can't see how they would've been able to get away from that", he said.

Photos and video from the scene showed emergency responders treating a number of people on the ground, as others used ladders to unload passengers trapped on the bus' upper level. "There's an accident up ahead and it's a bad one, so we're going to be waiting here for a while".

Buses are being detoured as a result of the crash, OC Transpo said.

Ottawa Police said in a statement its collision investigation unit was on scene and is investigating.

Officials from Transport Canada and Ontario's Ministry of Transportation are also investigating.

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