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

Eleven communities to attract newcomers to support middle-class jobs

The program includes unspecified West Kootenay communities

Nelson blogger and Chinatown historian dies

Claus Schunke was a fierce critic of Nelson City Council

Mural designed by Grade 5 student painted at credit union

L’Ècole Sentiers-Alpins’ Emily Horn and local artist Isabelle Houde finished the mural last week

PHOTOS: L.V. Rogers sends off its grad class

Check out our pictures of the festivities

Nine fires burning in West Kootenay

All fires considered to be lightning caused.

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

B.C. church’s Pride flag defaced for second time in 12 days

Delta’s Ladner United Church says it will continue to fly the flag for Pride month

Most Read