A 69-year-old woman is dead after she was struck by an Edmonton Transit Service bus while walking in a northeast Edmonton intersection Wednesday morning.
Police said they were called to the intersection of 118 Avenue and 50 Street at about 11:10 a.m.
The EPS said the woman was walking north on 50 Street in a marked crosswalk with a walk signal when she was struck by a bus that was turning left onto 118 Avenue.
Police said the woman, whose name has not been released, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the bus remained at the scene and is cooperating with the investigation. Police said neither speed nor alcohol are factors in the collision.
“It’s a tragedy,” said Steve Bradshaw, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 569.
“The union sends out its deepest sympathy to the family of this tragedy. We feel very, very deeply for them and we feel deeply for our member, our operator, who has to be traumatized by this event as well.”
Bradshaw said the ETS member involved is a male driver.
The collision remains under investigation, but Bradshaw told Global News the issue of blind spots for ETS bus drivers has been an ongoing issue in Edmonton.
“We’re not sure yet whether or not the blind spot issue was a factor in this tragedy. We will be looking into that,” said Bradshaw.
The union president said two other deadly collisions in 2016 involving ETS buses in crosswalks prompted the city to investigate and do a trial test of a mirror on a bus.
“In the end, they didn’t go forward with it,” Bradshaw said. “Maybe it’s time we take it forward again. We’ll see, we don’t know yet as I said.
“But it may be that the blind spot issue came back to haunt us here.”
Bradshaw said the union wants to move forward and work with the city to find a solution to blind spot problems.
He added many ETS drivers are already under a lot of added pressure and stress because of route and security changes due to COVID-19.
“They’re driving very carefully and they’re very thoughtful about what they’re doing.”
Police said they are reviewing surveillance video from the bus. Charges have not been laid, police said Wednesday afternoon.
Edmonton police said this is the city’s first traffic fatality of 2020.
The Edmonton Police Service’s Major Collision Investigations Section has been called in to investigate.
The intersection was re-opened at 5 p.m.
In a statement, the city said it is fully cooperating with the police investigation.
“Our condolences are with the woman’s family and friends. We are also thinking about passengers on the bus and the operator involved. The operator of the bus is being offered support. We appreciate the assistance of first responders who helped on site.”
The Edmonton Transit Service said it is too early to speculate on the cause of the incident.
“Edmonton Police Service continues to investigate, and we are fully cooperating with them. We are also conducting our own internal review, as is standard with any serious incident. When investigations are completed, we will share information as we are able,” read a statement from the ETS.