Man in custody after Winnipeg bus driver dies in overnight attack

Henrietta Brewer
February 16, 2017

A 22-year-old man has been charged with second degree murder after a Winnipeg Transit driver was fatally stabbed at the end of his route.

In addition to that quick fix, Callahan said there could be service adjustments or procedural changes that don't leave operators alone to deal with unruly passengers.

Police said Thomas was the lone passenger left on the bus when Fraser asked him to leave the bus because it was the end of the line.

The suspect was arrested trying to cross the frozen Red River near campus.

The mayor said it, the police chief said it, and the president of the transit union agrees: "There's a lot more that could be done" to improve safety on Winnipeg Transit buses.

Colleagues have described Fraser as a popular guy who planned to retire next year. Fraser, 58, died in hospital.

It was a "tragedy", Callahan says.

"We want to look at quick fixes (such as) just implementing some education for the public, to the ridership", Callahan said.

Friends and fellow bus drivers remembered Fraser on Facebook and some called for added security measures.

Besides cameras, city buses are equipped with emergency buttons that connect drivers to a 911 operator. There have been talks about putting up shields for drivers, but Callahan would rather see an entire redesign of buses that puts drivers in an enclosure.

Dave Wardrop, chief transportation and utilities officer, said drivers take assault prevention training and undercover police officers started riding buses previous year.

One male is in police custody following an overnight assault on a Winnipeg Transit driver at the University of Manitoba. The number went down to 45 assaults in 2016, partly due to undercover officers who intervened in some disputes. Some have issues with addictions and mental health, he said. "Probably not. It's a really tough job".

He also suggested that since many passengers do fall asleep on buses, there should be a policy for drivers on what to do. Bregg suffered brain injuries and lost sight in one eye.

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