Via train, Ottawa city bus collide; 6 people dead


SLM
#1
Via train, Ottawa city bus collide; 6 people dead
Bus crashed through gates to hit train, says witness

By QMI Agency


OTTAWA - Six people are dead after a Via Rail train slammed into an Ottawa transit bus that apparently and inexplicably crashed through the crossing gates in southwest Ottawa on Wednesday morning.
Officials say 31 people were transported to areas hospitals and 11 of those are critical.
The crash happened at 8:48 a.m at the intersection of Woodroffe Ave. and Fallowfield Rd. in the Barhaven area of the city.
There is considerable damage to the double-decker bus, with the front almost entirely sheered off and metal scattering the roadway.
Mark Cogan was waiting about four cars back on Woodroffe at the time of the crash. He said both sets of guard rails were down at the intersection and the bus crashed through them.

“Everything was down, everybody was at a standstill,” he told QMI Agency. “(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.”
Cogan got out of his car to survey the scene. “People were filing out of the upper windows,” he said. “The whole left side of the bus, where the driver sits, was demolished.

Gregory Mech, who was on the bus, said the lights were flashing and rail crossings were down and passengers were screaming at the driver to stop.
Both Mech and Cogan also said the saw bodies after the crash.
“People were taking off their shirts, covering their faces,” he said.
Frantic family members flooded the area Wednesday morning looking for people who might have been on the bus.
The train came to a stop 100 or so metres from the scene. Via Rail has confirmed that no major injuries were reported on the train.
Train speeds and crossings through area have come up at city hall in the past.
Via was doing a risk assessment of running high-speed trains in the area.
Last April, the company said trains had been running between 60-70 km/h on average, but officials said Wednesday that they barely go 10 km/h through that particular crossing.
The city also paid a consultant to do an engineering assessment of the train crossing. Via Rail cancelled all Ottawa-Toronto trains for Wednesday

Via train, Ottawa city bus collide; 6 people dead - Canada - Canoe.ca

I'm sitting here thinking just how many time my children and myself have been on that train, it gives me shivers.
 
WLDB
#2
Looks like everyone on the train is fine. The people on the busses - not so much. Its a good thing they didnt hit the engine. It would have been a lot worse then. Im hoping they figure out the cause soon. I use OC Transpo every day.
 
karrie
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by SLM View Post

I'm sitting here thinking just how many time my children and myself have been on that train, it gives me shivers.

It's one of my friend's bus routes to work. His wife posted to let everyone know he had already made it to work when it happened.

Quote: Originally Posted by WLDB View Post

Looks like everyone on the train is fine. The people on the busses - not so much. Its a good thing they didnt hit the engine. It would have been a lot worse then. Im hoping they figure out the cause soon. I use OC Transpo every day.


I'm guessing the driver had a medical crisis....stroke, aneurysm, etc.
 
SLM
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by karrie View Post

It's one of my friend's bus routes to work. His wife posted to let everyone know he had already made it to work when it happened.

Good to know.

I'm thinking back over the years I lived in Ottawa just how many people I know, or I should say 'used to know' (having lost touch with more casual acquaintances over the years) that work for OC Transpo.

Quote:

I'm guessing the driver had a medical crisis....stroke, aneurysm, etc.

That's what I was thinking. Can't think of any other reason the driver would go straight through the gate with passengers yelling at him to stop.

So sad.

Quote: Originally Posted by WLDB View Post

Looks like everyone on the train is fine. The people on the busses - not so much. Its a good thing they didnt hit the engine. It would have been a lot worse then. Im hoping they figure out the cause soon. I use OC Transpo every day.

Is that dedicated transitway in that area? I remember being on buses down those stretches of transitway and they go at quite the pace.
 
WLDB
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by SLM View Post


Is that dedicated transitway in that area? I remember being on buses down those stretches of transitway and they go at quite the pace.

No. It looks like just an average road. The transitways are a lot wider.

Quote: Originally Posted by SLM View Post


That's what I was thinking. Can't think of any other reason the driver would go straight through the gate with passengers yelling at him to stop.

Its possible there was a problem with the breaks as well.
 
SLM
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by WLDB View Post


Its possible there was a problem with the breaks as well.

Maybe, it's early yet of course but everything I've read from passengers statements thus far seem to be suggesting he wasn't even attempting to stop.
 
Walter
#7
Gubmint needs to stop encouraging people to use mass transit. Prayers to the families of the dead. Speedy recovery to the injured.
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
+1
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by WLDB View Post

Looks like everyone on the train is fine. The people on the busses - not so much. Its a good thing they didnt hit the engine. It would have been a lot worse then. Im hoping they figure out the cause soon. I use OC Transpo every day.

Sounds to me either the driver was negligant or had a siesure of some sort.

With regards to the original article, I don't see how the speed of the train is the issue when the bus ran through the crossing gate.

Quote: Originally Posted by WLDB View Post

Its possible there was a problem with the breaks as well.

I am sure his breaks were excactly what was required in his contract. I do believe they are unionized.

I do wonder what the maintenance history of his brakes were though.
 
Locutus
#9




Yeah it was morbidly funny that the media were calling it 'the worst Canadian train accident since July...'

Deaths in Canada train-bus collision - Americas - Al Jazeera English
 
taxslave
#10
My sympayhies to all involved.
One thing for certain is that the speed of the train is irrelavent.
 
karrie
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslave View Post

My sympayhies to all involved.
One thing for certain is that the speed of the train is irrelavent.


you go rub up against a train, and tell me its speed is irrelevant to the damage that occurs to you.
 
taxslave
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by karrie View Post

you go rub up against a train, and tell me its speed is irrelevant to the damage that occurs to you.

Trains almost never leave their tracks to hit someone. Therefor a smart person would be carefull in proximity to tracks. Others become Darwin award candidates. Unfortunatelt for the bus passengers they must rely on the driver and not their own skills for survival.
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
+2
#13  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by karrie View Post

you go rub up against a train, and tell me its speed is irrelevant to the damage that occurs to you.

It was not a case of driver crosses crossing and speeding train gets him. It was driver runs into train running through gates already down. The amount of damage may be affected by the speed of the train but not the fact there was a collision.

In Toronto, all busses stop at railway crossings even when they are totally quiet. They open the door, look both ways and proceed.
 
karrie
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by IdRatherBeSkiing View Post

It was not a case of driver crosses crossing and speeding train gets him. It was driver runs into train running through gates already down. The amount of damage may be affected by the speed of the train but not the fact there was a collision.

In Toronto, all busses stop at railway crossings even when they are totally quiet. They open the door, look both ways and proceed.

I'm simply pointing out that it's not 'irrelevant'. It IS relevant, it is a factor in how many people die, no matter how the accident occurs. If it had been a highspeed train, this accident would have a much higher death toll. The damage would have increased dramatically.
 
B00Mer
#15
What a shocking & tragic accident.
My prayers and thoughts go out to the passengers and rescue teams at the scene.

 
petros
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by karrie View Post

I'm simply pointing out that it's not 'irrelevant'. It IS relevant, it is a factor in how many people die, no matter how the accident occurs. If it had been a highspeed train, this accident would have a much higher death toll. The damage would have increased dramatically.

If ifs and buts were fruit and nuts we'd all have a Merry Christmas.
 
SLM
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

If ifs and buts were fruit and nuts we'd all have a Merry Christmas.

Thanks Santa.

By the way, I prefer cash...just putting that out there.
 
petros
#18
You're getting fruit.
 
SLM
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

You're getting fruit.

.....
 
Coddfish
+2
#20
The girlfriend and I are good and safe here. Despite the crash being on the same street as Algonquin, we were not affected by it in either location or transit. (We walk.)

The college has been chatting quite a bit about it. There is not one section of the school that does not have either the news on or people talking about it.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by this tragedy.
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by karrie View Post

I'm simply pointing out that it's not 'irrelevant'. It IS relevant, it is a factor in how many people die, no matter how the accident occurs. If it had been a highspeed train, this accident would have a much higher death toll. The damage would have increased dramatically.

So trains should slow to a crawl in case negligent or incapacitated bus drivers decide to ram them in order to save lives? To say its a factor implies it is something that should be changed.
 
karrie
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by IdRatherBeSkiing View Post

So trains should slow to a crawl in case negligent or incapacitated bus drivers decide to ram them in order to save lives? To say its a factor implies it is something that should be changed.

It's something that should be considered when deciding how to set speed limits of trains through cities, definitely, and certainly not irrelevant to the article.

The fact of the matter is, there will always be accidents. There will always be negligent and/or incapacitated drivers. You have to plan for that as well as for everything going as planned. That's the sort of risk management that city councils, transportation officials, and civil planners, look at.
 
WLDB
+1
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by IdRatherBeSkiing View Post


I am sure his breaks were excactly what was required in his contract. I do believe they are unionized.

Ive been on a few OC Transpo buses that stopped running randomly over the last 4 years or so. If that can happen without much warning I wouldnt be too surprised other things could go wrong on them.

Quote: Originally Posted by IdRatherBeSkiing View Post

It was not a case of driver crosses crossing and speeding train gets him. It was driver runs into train running through gates already down. The amount of damage may be affected by the speed of the train but not the fact there was a collision.

My father is a railroad engineer and had a similar accident a few years ago. Actually more than a few - probably 5-7 years ago. He saw a transport coming for the crossing and it wasnt slowing down. There was nothing he could do because he was too close to the crossing. The transport hit about three cars behind the engine causing a massive derailment. There is now a pretty good sized field there where there used to be bush. The transport was crushed and didnt look much better than the bus in this thread. Somehow the driver survived though. Had the train not been moving it probably would have only knocked one car off the tracks instead of about 15. My father was lucky. Had he been going a bit slower and the transport had hit the engine instead - people would have died for sure. This was near Windy Lake about 45 minutes west of Sudbury.
Last edited by WLDB; Sep 18th, 2013 at 05:03 PM..
 
Sal
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

You're getting fruit.

Quote: Originally Posted by SLM View Post

.....

When she was little and asked what she wanted for Christmas my mum replied: "a mended orange" because fruit was so scarce they always had to share.
 
petros
#25
Mended?

Quote: Originally Posted by Locutus View Post

Yeah it was morbidly funny that the media were calling it 'the worst Canadian train accident since July...'

You sure have a warped sense of ha ha. There hasn't been any other train incidents between July and now? I find it very hard to believe there hasn't been.


Or is it simply the source of the comment that tickled your idiot bone?
 
SLM
+1
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by IdRatherBeSkiing View Post

So trains should slow to a crawl in case negligent or incapacitated bus drivers decide to ram them in order to save lives? To say its a factor implies it is something that should be changed.

Many of the trains I've been on tend to crawl through the populated areas with the exception of areas that are fenced off. But this is not a populated area, not really. There's Nepean, then vast fields, then Barrhaven. It's a completely open area.

Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Mended?

You sure have a warped sense of ha ha. There hasn't been any other train incidents between July and now? I find it very hard to believe there hasn't been.

Probably not Canadian ones. Even if there are, this has been the worst one.

Quote: Originally Posted by Coddfish View Post

The girlfriend and I are good and safe here. Despite the crash being on the same street as Algonquin, we were not affected by it in either location or transit. (We walk.)

The college has been chatting quite a bit about it. There is not one section of the school that does not have either the news on or people talking about it.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by this tragedy.

Glad to know you're okay.
 
relic
#27
Caught some bits of news that sounded like someone was trying to say trains are evil,trotting out BS stats on how dangerous crossings are.Like to see some of those goomers survive when there was nothing but crossed 3x5,no bells or gates.Christ
As a sidebar of sorts,The Queensway with a skiff of snow is plenty dangerous thanks.
 
SLM
#28
All six victims of Ottawa bus crash now ID'd




Megan Gillis, QMI Agency

Sep 19, 2013 , Last Updated: 3:01 PM ET

All six victims killed when a Ottawa transit bus crashed into a passenger train have now been identified as officials continued their probe Thursday morning.
They are: Michael Bleakney, 57, Connor Boyd, 21, Karen Krzyzewski, 53, Kyle Nash, 21, Rob More, 35, Dave Woodard, 45.
Woodard, a nearly 10-year veteran of OC Transpo, was driving the bus,
His devastated widow, Terry, said she is sure the accident wasn’t her husband’s fault. He was a trained and experienced driver with no health problems and a clean record, she said.
“I want to say please don’t blame him,” Terry told QMI Agency on Thursday morning. “It’s crazy because he wouldn’t have a made a mistake.
“Only one person will know (what really happened) and it’s him and he brought it with him,” she said.
Carleton University students Boyd and Nash were friends and graduates of John McCrae Secondary School in the Barrhaven area of the city.
Friends took to social media to express their shock and sadness.
“I’m utterly destroyed,” said one friend on Twitter, who said they’d been friends since age seven.
“Rest in Peace Connor Boyd, you always knew how to make me smile when I was down,” Brittany Bedford tweeted. “Gone but never forgotten.”
All but one of the three dozen people who were taken to hospital had been released by Thursday morning.
Investigators now have the locomotive event recorders — also known as the black boxes — from both the train and the bus.
The Transportation Safety Board doesn’t typically investigate bus crashes so it may take longer for them to determine what information they can get from the bus’s recorder, TSB spokeswoman Julie Leroux said.
They will also get the data recorder to make sure the signals at the level crossing were working properly, although witnesses told QMI Agency on Wednesday the bus crashed through the barriers, which were down and had lights flashing.
The TSB will also interview passengers on the bus and train, witnesses who observed the crash and the crew of the train.
“It’s going to help us focus on specific parts of the investigation,” Leroux said. “Right now, we investigate all the possibilities. We haven’t ruled out anything yet. We are going to go through all the information we have and see where the investigation will lead us.”
It’s too soon to tell how long that will take, she said.


Canada: All six victims of Ottawa bus crash now ID'd


It'll be a while before we know anything for sure but in an earlier article the bus driver's widow made this statement:


Quote:


"I just want to make sure those families know," she said. "He had told me how heavy these (double-decker) buses were. He told me they were very heavy and tough to drive."
On the John Oakley Show on AM640 she said her husband didn't like to drive them but didn't have a choice.

Canada: Crash 'wasn't his fault': Bus driver's widow


So we shall see where it all ends up. Grim and just so very, very tragic.
 

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