A double-decker OC Transpo bus crashed into a passenger train in Ottawa, Canada at 8:48 am on Wednesday, September 18, 2013, during morning rush hour. Witnesses stated that the bus driver did not slow down despite the fact that the train was approaching, the warning lights were on and the crossing barrier was down. It is unclear why the driver, 45-year-old Dave Woodard, did not stop. 34 bus passengers were injured, six lost their lives and eight are in critical condition.
The bus hit the train near Fallowfield station while traveling on a transit line that runs along a commuter artery. Witness Mark Cogan told the New York Times that the bus, “went through the guard rail and just hammered the train and then it was just mayhem.” A passenger on the upper level of the bus, Gregory Mech, said he saw the warning signals flashing and that the barrier was closed before the bus crashed into the train. Another bus passenger, Tanner Trepanier, said it was obvious to the passengers that the bus was about to hit the train and showed no signs of slowing down. Trepanier said passengers started screaming for the driver to stop.
Unfortunately, the bus driver did not attempt to brake until seconds before the crash. It is unknown why he did not stop; it is possible he was experiencing a medical emergency or technical failure. The driver had been with the railway company for 10 years and had a good record. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is conducting an investigation and retrieved the black box from the bus. The investigation will most likely take months to complete.
The front of the bus was destroyed and the train derailed. No one on the train was seriously injured during the crash. Bodies were thrown and the broken crossing barrier could be seen in the crash scene.
Via Rail, the railway company operating the train, closed the other routes traveling between Ottawa and Toronto that day. The Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said, “It’s a tragic morning in the nation’s capital, as a devastating accident between a bus and train has caused injury and death.”
If you have been injured in a train accident, AA Accident Attorneys recommends that you contact a bus accident lawyer as soon as possible. You may be entitled to thousands of dollars in compensation for your pain and suffering, your injuries, expensive medical bills depending on the extent of your injures and lost wages if you have to spend time away from work during your recovery.
At AA Accident Attorneys, we have a 98% success rate and have handled thousands of cases in California. Our legal team is knowledgeable and has more than 40 years of collective legal experience. Call us today at 800-260-2577 for a free evaluation of your case; we do not place a time limit on our evaluations. Furthermore, we do not charge our clients until we win their case.