Edmonton bus driver charged in fatal pedestrian collision

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WATCH ABOVE: Police laid charges against an ETS driver after a bus struck an 83-year-old female pedestrian Oct. 4 – Oct 20, 2016

An Edmonton Transit bus driver has been charged in connection with a fatal pedestrian collision in the city’s west end earlier this month.

On Oct. 4, an elderly woman was struck by a bus while walking in a marked crosswalk in the area of 87 Avenue and 169 Street. The 83-year-old woman was treated at the scene and taken to hospital where she later died.

Family members identified the woman as Mary Lynch, who is being remembered as a family woman who was full of life.

READ MORE: Edmonton pedestrian killed by bus remembered as ‘devoted to her family

Kellie Rowe, 42, has since been charged with one count of failing to yield to a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk under the Traffic Safety Act.

The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 569, of which the driver is a member, said it continues to support the driver.

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“We’re disappointed that the police felt the need to lay charges but we remind people that those are charges not convictions and we’ll see what comes out in the long run,” union president Steve Bradshaw said.

“The charges are not criminal in nature … we believe that they’ll (the charges) be found to be wrongly made.”

At the time of the crash, Bradshaw expressed concern that issues with blind spots on city buses may have played a role in the collision.

“At the front corner of the bus, to the operator’s left, there’s a sizeable pillar that causes a blind spot and in addition to that there’s a sizeable mirror – the rear-view mirror is right beside it – and at its widest point, that can be as much as 14 inches wide, depending on the orientation of the driver and the size and position of the seat,” he reiterated Thursday. “So that constitutes a significant hazard.”

Bradshaw said his union is working with the city on addressing the issue and believes it will be dealt with, either by retrofitting current buses or by the city slowly replacing current buses with better designed models.

Police said neither speed nor alcohol were factors in the collision.

The woman’s death was Edmonton’s 19th traffic fatality of 2016.

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-With files from Phil Heidenreich.

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