Skip to comments.'There was panic': Passenger as Ottawa OC Transpo bus slams train
Posted on 09/18/2013 12:25:54 PM PDT by rickmichaels
A sixth person has died in hospital after a horrific collision between a Via Rail passenger train and an OC Transpo bus Wednesday morning
Family members who are looking for people who may have been involved in the collision just before 9 a.m. are asked to call 613-580-2400, or go to the Nepean Sportsplex, where a victim crisis unit has been set up.
The crash occurred at a level crossing on the Transitway line which runs between Barrhaven and Hunt Club Rd. The front of the bus was sheared off by the force of the collision with the westbound train, which came to a stop a hundred meters or so down the tracks toward the Barrhaven station.
Five people were confirmed dead at the scene and 31 people were taken to hospital, whre a sixth person later died.
Vishnu Komenduri was on the train with his baby. It was really scary. It was really a gruesome incident, he said. I feel bad for the bus driver.
Komenduri was travelling to Toronto with his 3-month-old daughter. There was panic, he said, as the crash unfolded.
At the scene, as first responders tried to assess patients, the incessant sound of cellphones ringing was constant.
The phones just ring and ring and ring, the Suns Doug Hempstead said from the scene, hearing discarded cellphones buzzing on the mangled bus as loved ones try to contact commuters.
No one was hurt on the train and passengers were able to walk away from the scene.
Eyewitness Mark Cogan was waiting about four cars back from the railway gates on Woodroffe at the time of the crash. He said both sets of guard rails were down at the intersection along the Transitway and the bus crashed through them.
Everything was down, everybody was at a standstill, Cogan told the Sun. (The bus) went through the guard rail.
He said it appeared the train was slowing down as it approached Fallowfield station. The crash could have been worse, he said, had the train hit the bus head-on. Instead, Cogan said the bus hit the train on the second or third car.
Worried friends and family have been gathering at the Barrhaven Via station. The Nepean Sportsplex, at the other end of the Woodroffe Ave. road closure, is another area people are gathering.
Police say concerned family members of people on the bus can call the City of Ottawa at 311 for help.
The City of Ottawa will provide an update during a briefing at Ottawa City Hall at about 11:15 a.m.
Traffic in the area is at gridlock as people try to get near the scene and authorities are asking people to stay out of the area as they continue their work and begin the investigation.
The Canadian TSB is sending investigators to the scene.
Word from someone I know from the areas said reports were stating that people in the bus were screaming for him to stop and he completely ignored them and the signal and every other warning.
Better ban ALL mass transit before more innocent victims die . . .
As someone's already said up-thread, the passengers were supposedly screaming at the driver to stop for the train, but he was unresponsive apparently till the last moment, when he slammed on the brakes—but by then it was too late to stop.
Some other eyewitnesses on the radio this morning were saying that they felt the driver seemed aloof or indifferent. If so, then it is possible he wasn't feeling well, but I admit that I did think back to that Egyptian pilot from a few years ago who committed suicide by crashing a plane full of passengers.
I pray that wasn't the case. Either way, the situation could have been much worse—the train was moving slowly since it was only a few hundred yards from a station, and the bus collided with the side of the train rather than beating it to the crossing and being T-boned. 6 deaths is a tragedy. But it could have been 80 or 100.
Do you know what the bus driver’s name was? He is among the dead?
He is (not surprisingly).
The police have identified some of the victims, but as yet have not offically released any names. However, it is now known that the driver was Dave Woodard, a 10-year OCTranspo veteran.
Okay, thanks. I suppose, then, that this was not jihad related. Perhaps he had some sort of episode.