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Kelowna bus driver “beaten up pretty good,” assault that caused crash investigated

Click to play video: 'Transit bush crash in Kelowna (VO follow up)' Transit bush crash in Kelowna (VO follow up)
A Kelowna transit bus crashed over a concrete abutment in front of a home in Rutland on Friday night. The bus driver was allegedly assaulted – Mar 23, 2019

A Kelowna city transit bus, reportedly carrying 22 passengers, crashed off Rutland Road North on Friday night after the driver was assaulted, according to the bus driver’s union.

“He’s beaten up pretty good,” Scott Lovell, president of Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 1722, told Global News. “But he’s in good spirits.”

WATCH BELOW: View of Kelowna bus crash scene from passing vehicle

Click to play video: 'View of Kelowna bus crash from passing car' View of Kelowna bus crash from passing car
View of Kelowna bus crash from passing car – Mar 23, 2019

Lovell said he was unable to provide details of what happened that caused the crash, but said, “if barriers were there, there’s no way the bus is going anywhere.”

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The number 8 bus servicing UBC Okanagan crashed over a concrete abutment in front of a home near McCurdy Road, in the opposite lane of travel just before 8 p.m.

RCMP, paramedics and fire crews were called to assist at the scene.

Courtesy: Jessie Solloway/ Global Okanagan. Courtesy: Jessie Solloway

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Unconfirmed reports indicated the bus driver was assaulted while the full-size BC Transit vehicle was in motion on Rutland Road.

The bus was backed off the cement blocks to help the passengers exit the bus, according to a witness.

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A cement barrier where a bus ran over shows damage on Rutland Road North. Courtesy: Tammy Kasper/ Global Okanagan

No word on the extent of passenger injuries.

The driver, who is in Kelowna General Hospital being treated for his injuries, has been operating buses in Kelowna for four years and previously had been a driver on the coast, according to Lovell.

“His professionalism is amazing,” Lovell said.

Lovell said while BC Transit has begun to plan for barriers to better protect drivers, there is no schedule to implement the plan.

“It should have happened two years ago,” Lovell said.

 

 

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