Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

6 killed as bus rams train in puzzling Ottawa crash

OTTAWA — Commuters were shocked and investigators were at a loss to explain why a double-decker transit bus drove past a warning light in Ottawa on Wednesday morning, crashed through safety barriers and plowed into a passenger train, killing six bus passengers and injuring 34 others.

No one aboard the Via Rail Canada passenger train, which was derailed, was hurt, the authorities said.

The accident took place at the end of the morning rush hour under clear skies. Several passengers aboard the packed OC Transpo bus, which can carry about 90 people, told reporters that while it was clear they were going to crash into the train, the driver seemed to brake only immediately before hitting the train locomotive.

"People started screaming, 'Stop! Stop!' because they could see the train coming down the track," a university student, Tanner Trepanier, told the Canadian Press news agency.

An onlooker, Mark Cogan, told reporters the driver "went through the guard rail and just hammered the train and then it was just mayhem."

Witnesses said bodies of the dead and some of the injured were thrown from the bus, and a broken barrier from the crossing, not far from the Fallowfield station, could be seen under its wreckage.

The bus was traveling on a special road network reserved for transit vehicles. An original plan for the crossing, near the suburban neighborhood of Barr Haven, had called for an underpass rather than a level crossing. But when groundwater problems inflated the plan's costs, the city got permission to use crossing gates that block all traffic lanes.

Speculation was widespread that the driver, whom the company identified as Dave Woodard and who was among the dead, had suffered a heart attack or some other medical emergency immediately before the crash or that it may have been caused by mechanical failure.

Passengers who had boarded just before the crash said Woodard had seemed to be in good health. The union said he had worked as a bus driver for about 10 years and had a flawless record.

Emergency personnel look over the crash scene Wednesday morning after a city bus struck a Via Rail train in Ottawa. Six bus passengers were killed; 34 were injured.

Associated Press

Emergency personnel look over the crash scene Wednesday morning after a city bus struck a Via Rail train in Ottawa. Six bus passengers were killed; 34 were injured.

6 killed as bus rams train in puzzling Ottawa crash

09/18/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 11:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, New York Times.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Illinois is recruiting a 10-year-old. Where will Lovie Smith by the time the kid can sign?

    Blogs

    Today in ridiculous recruiting news, Lovie Smith's Illinois football team offered a scholarship to a 10-year-old.

  2. St. Pete Pride to focus on transgender inclusion with first-ever TransPride March

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Nathan Bruemmer remembers his first Pride parade in the late 1990s. He hadn't yet come out as transgender.

    Nathan Bruemmer stands on the St Pete Pride parade route on Bayshore Drive NE Thursday, June 22, 2017. Bruemmer is the only trans member on the St. Pete Pride's board. This year he organized a TransPride March to begin Saturday's festivities before the floats come down along the bay. The TransPride March will include members of the transgender, gender-non-conforming, queer communities, their families, friends, allies and supporters.
  3. Home of Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman hits market at $3.45 million

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — The Davis Islands home of Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman is back on the market for $3.45 million after a brief hiatus.

    The Davis Islands home of Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman is on the market for $3.45 million. [Courtesy of Hi Res Media]
  4. Motorcyclist in serious condition after crash in St. Petersburg

    Accidents

    A motorcyclist is in serious condition after he crashed into a car in St. Petersburg on Thursday afternoon, according to St. Petersburg Police.

  5. 20 great images from around the globe for June 16 to June 23

    World

    Photos of the week for June 16 - June 23: A deadly collision at sea, a WWII vet turns 100, gorgeous images from Bermuda, Germany, Libya, Milan and Rio, Otto Warmbier's parents lay their son to rest, and more.

    A commercial airplane flies past the moon above Geneva, Switzerland, Saturday, June 17, 2017. (Valentin Flauraud/Keystone via AP)