Ottawa bus crash happened on a rush hour trip, at a station with several routes
The bus crash that killed three people and injured as many as 17 happened at Westboro bus station, a transit access point that accommodates several routes west of downtown Ottawa.
Located approximately six kilometres from Parliament Hill, Westboro is a thoroughfare for routes such as the 50 between Tunney’s Pasture and Lincoln Fields, and the 97 bus that takes commuters to the airport.
On Friday, it became the site of a fatal crash by a double-decker OC Transpo bus, which hit a shelter as it was travelling the 269 route on its way to Bridlewood, which is located in the suburb of Kanata, and just under 20 kilometres away from the station.
The 269 is a “connexion route”, operating during morning and evening rush hour, taking people between Mackenzie King station in the capital’s downtown and Pinehill/Stonehaven station in Kanata.
OC Transpo’s latest performance report covering January to June 2018 showed that 269 buses mostly hit their stops on time, though less often than most other “Connexion” routes, which operate only during weekday rush hours.
They were also late 38 per cent of the time — more often than most other routes.
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At a press conference on Friday, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said the bus collided with a shelter and hurt 23 people, some of them seriously enough that they had to be taken to hospital.
There were three people killed in total — two on the bus, one on the platform.
“Our hearts and condolences go out to all those injured, those family members who have lost loved ones and their families,” Watson said.
Several people found themselves trapped on the bus’ upper level following the crash, and most serious injuries happened on the vehicle’s upper right side, said Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau.
He said police are now investigating what caused the collision; six officers were on site to look into the matter.
The driver was detained at the scene and he was set to be interviewed by police.
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Buses are being detoured as a result of the crash, OC Transpo said.
Scott Street and the Transitway were closed between Westboro station and Tunney’s Pasture.
Anyone looking for information about family members can go to the Churchill Seniors Centre at 345 Richmond Rd.
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