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

PHOTOS: Two downtown Aldergrove businesses, one community mission

Brick Alley Bistro partnered with Sovereign Vitality Natural Medicine for a community event Monday.

Backlog reduced at Langley adult day program

Wait list goes from months to weeks

Langley golfer Erin Lee wins major Pitt Meadows tournament

Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour (MJT) gets underway at Swan-e-Set Bay Resort

VIDEO: Langley Trappers lose to Wolf Pack in PJHL final

North Vancouver makes it four in a row

VIDEO: Vancouver fall to Seattle in Game 2 of the playoffs

Thunderbirds topple the Giants 4-1 in Langley, evening the Western Conference series one game each

Edmonton judge rules Omar Khadr’s sentence has expired

Eight-year sentence imposed in 2010 would have ended last October had Khadr remained in custody

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

COLUMN: Smart phone too powerful a tool to yank from students’ hands

Rather than ban them from schools, let’s teach kids to harness their phone’s power and use it properly

B.C. river cleanup crew finds bag of discarded sex toys

Chilliwack volunteers stumble on unexpected find while removing 600 lbs of trash from riverway

Trudeau sells housing plan in visit to hot real estate market in B.C.

Trudeau said the budget contains measures to help first-time buyers

Norway opens probe into why cruise ship ventured into storm

The Viking Sky was headed for southern Norway when it had engine problems on Saturday afternoon

Crash threatens Vancouver shipyard’s schedule for new coast guard ships

The delivery of the vessel was already years overdue

Most Read