Transport Canada officials look at the scene where a double-decker city bus struck a transit shelter at the start of the afternoon rush hour on Friday, at Westboro Station in Ottawa, on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

Ottawa police identify three public servants who died in bus crash

The bus hopped a curb and hit a bus shelter, killing 3 and injuring 23

Ottawa police have identified the three people who died in a bus crash in the city on Friday.

Bruce Thomlinson, 56, Judy Booth, 57, and Anja Van Beek, 65, died in the collision.

“The identification of those who died is a difficult and important process and I want to offer the condolences of the Ottawa Police and our entire community,” said Chief Charles Bordeleau. “We have worked to support the families and loved ones of those involved and will continue to be there for them.”

All three were public servants. Thomlinson worked for the Canada Border Services Agency; Van Beek worked for the federal Treasury Board. CTV reported that Booth had retired from the National Capital Commission but still worked there part-time on contract.

An email sent to CBSA staff Monday morning said one employee there had been killed and one seriously injured, and two other workers had family members hurt in the crash.

Besides Thomlinson, Booth and Van Beek, 23 people were injured badly enough to be taken to hospitals by paramedics after a double-decker bus slammed into a shelter at a station west of downtown at the start of the evening rush hour Friday.

READ MORE: People injured in deadly Ottawa bus crash are improving, hospital says

The bus, on an express route from downtown to the suburb of Kanata, wasn’t scheduled to stop at Westboro station. The roof of the shelter cut through the right side of the bus’s upper deck.

Const. Chuck Benoit of the Ottawa police said several of the people hurt had limbs amputated.

A book of condolences has been set up at Ottawa city hall for those wishing to send messages of support to the victims’ families.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson signed the book Monday afternoon with a message acknowledging the horror of the accident while also thanking first responders for working in challenging conditions.

“This is a very difficult time for our city. Our city is grieving,” Watson said.

He noted the police investigation is ongoing and would not comment on details involving the probe. He also urged people to refrain from jumping to conclusions.

“We want to find out how this happened and how to ensure it never happens again, but most importantly I don’t think it’s helpful at all for people to speculate on the reasons,” he said. “I have full confidence that (police) will do a thorough investigation and when appropriate release as much information as possible so we can ensure that this never happens again.”

The police investigation is now focusing on speaking with eyewitnesses and combing through the wreckage of the bus looking for clues about what caused the crash. The bus was equipped with a “black box” and cameras.

READ MORE: Police release driver after three killed, 23 hurt in Ottawa bus crash

It has been just five years since another Ottawa double-decker bus broke through a warning gate at a rail crossing and hit a moving Via passenger train, killing six people aboard the bus.

The federal Transportation Safety Board investigated that 2013 crash, but only because a Via Rail train was involved. Some experts have called on the federal agency to lead this investigation as well, but Watson said he’s confident in the Ottawa police to handle this case and its implications beyond possible charges.

Watson also says he has no concerns with the use of double-decker buses for transit.

“The feedback that I’ve received from our senior staff is that they have full confidence in the buses, they’ve met every safety standard by national and provincial bodies. We have confidence in the fleet.”

Teresa Wright, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

MLA Ron Orr speaks on UCP’s record, global economy

Ponoka and Disctrict Chamber of Commerce monthly lunch meeting

Ponoka Silver Valley 4H Riders visit Nova Scotia

Local 4-H club enjoys the second leg of their club to club exchange

Klaglahachie Fine Arts Society receives sizeable grant

Theatre group presented with $13,476

TRC impressed with first time finals showcase in Ponoka

Huge team roping event brings in big numbers — riders and prize money

Maskwacis now has permanent library

Only one of two in province

Red Deer Rebels fall to Edmonton in home opener 4-2

Red Deer will play the second of a home and home on Sunday

STARS airlifts two to hospital early Saturday morning

Patients thought to be around 16 and 20 years old

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Expert says acquittal of Alberta parents in boy’s death unlikely to set precedent

The Stephans testified they thought their son had croup and used herbal remedies to treat him

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Singh campaigns in Toronto, May in Winnipeg, as Liberal and Tory leaders pause

All parties expected to be back on the campaign trail Sunday

Most Read