Barrhaven, ON Train And Bus Collision, Sep 2013
VIA TRAIN AND OTTAWA CITY BUS COLLIDE DURING MORNING COMMUTE, SIX DEAD, INCLUDING THE BUS DRIVER.
Ottawa, Ontario - A double-decker Ottawa city bus drove through warning lights and guard rails into the side of a crossing passenger train, killing six and injuring at least 30, witnesses to the collision said Wednesday. The corner had been on a "severe public safety issue" list for more than a decade.
Five people were pronounced dead on scene, while the sixth died in hospital, after the OC Transpo bus slammed into the Via Rail train that was pulling into Fallowfield Station, in the suburb of Barrhaven, southwest of Ottawa. Ten people were rushed to hospital in critical condition.
Three of the six deceased have been positively identified but police are not releasing names at this time out of respect to the victims' families.
The driver of an Ottawa bus has been identified as DAVE WOODARD. WOODARD'S name has not been released by the Ottawa police, but is being widely reported by CTV, the Ottawa Citizen and the CBC.
One of WOODARD'S family members, who did not want to be identified, said everyone is struggling with the loss. She chose to wait until the entire family was informed about the tragic death before speaking publicly about WOODARD. It was WOODARD'S wife's birthday on Tuesday.
The train's locomotive and a passenger car came off the tracks, but all of the casualties were on the bus, with no injuries among the 100 people on the train. The train came to a halt about 100 metres west of the accident site.
The city's double-decker buses can seat up to 82 people, OC Transpo said they do not know how many were on the bus Wednesday morning.
Images posted to the Transportation
Safety Board's Flickr page, seem to indicate the bus hit the side of the train's locomotive under the driver's cab, less than a metre from the nose.
Bus passengers said they yelled
"Stop! Stop!" as the bus ran through warning symbols at the train crossing. The driver had been confirmed to be among the deceased by the union. The union said the driver had about ten years of experience.
"People started screaming, 'Stop!
Stop!' because they could see the train coming down the track," Tanner Trepanier, who was sitting on the top level of the bus, told The Canadian Press.
The front end of the OC Transpo bus was severely damaged images from the scene near Woodroffe Avenue and Fallowfield Road show. Witnesses say the front part of the 76 Express bus was ripped off by the impact, which occurred in the middle of the morning commute, at about 8:50 a.m.
In the early 2000s the city had a plan to build an underpass for Woodroffe Avenue and the then yet to be built Transitway next to it, to separate traffic from the trains.
In 2002, Ottawa's then mayor Bob Chiarelli described the intersection of tracks and road as "a very, very severe public safety issue," reports the Ottawa Citizen.
"We're receiving lots of calls for this one," a dispatcher says to first responders in a chilling recording made available Wednesday.
The recording was edited to remove non-crash related calls.
"Front end of the bus has significant damage, we have multiple patients on the ground," says the first paramedic on scene to the dispatcher. "Upgrade this to a mass casualty ... I have about six code blacks and at least three, or four, code fours, on the ground."
"We have a two-story bus, front end of the bus is missing," the paramedic says.
The accident occurred just outside a suburban Via Rail station. The train tracks cross both a major city street and a transit line for buses.
National Post Canada News Article
Listing Of The Casualties:
KYLE NASH, 21.
MICHAEL BLEAKNEY, 57.
KAREN KRZYZEWSKI, 53.
ROB MORE, 35.
CONNOR BOYD, 21.
DAVE WOODARD, 45, bus driver.