So Much Loss, So Many Questions

As he prepared for Monday morning, a veteran OC Transpo driver – who didn’t want to be identified – admitted he was dreading the day.
At the helm of a double decker bus, he said he expected the reaction from passengers would be mixed.
And he wasn’t looking forward to it.

“Some will be sympathetic, for sure, but others will also just give me the finger,” he told On the City, From the Burbs in an interview on Sunday night.
And he, like so many other drivers and many other OC Transpo employees – is very concerned about the state of training at the transit company.

The driver has been identified by the Ottawa Sun as Aissatou Diallo, who apparently had been on the job for less than a year and remains on probation.
According to the paper, she was driving OC Transpo bus 269 en route to Kanata’s Bridlewood neighbourhood from downtown on Friday when the bus crashed into the overhang of the bus shelter at Westboro station just before 4 p.m. The overhang cut through the upper level of the double-decker bus.

Three people were killed and 23 were injured.

And now, our entire city mourns the loss of these lives.

Terrible. Deaths so random. But today, questions are being raised about the driver. It’s inevitable, isn’t it?

The veteran driver told this blog the driver in question had been in two accidents previous to Friday’s tragic crash, the last one just in December.
That’s hard to comprehend.
And further to that, he said some employees in the training department didn’t want the woman to be allowed to continue driving – but that decision was overruled.

We all know this investigation will take what will seem like eons to complete. And surely, the driver’s record on the road will eventually become public knowledge.

Sadly, no amount of investigation will help the families who’ve forever lost people they loved.

The lives lost are Bruce Thomlinson, 56 years old, Judy Booth, 57 years old, and Anja Van Beek, 65 years old.

It’s impossible to imagine what their loved ones are going through now.

We may feel like we’re grieving alongside them, but we can’t truly know what they’re going through.

It’s all just so sad.

2 Comments

  1. I find it difficult to understand how a fairly new bus driver with about one year experience, on probation, and involved in 2 previous accidents, was permitted to drive a double decker bus in rush hour traffic.
    Assessing blame is a given but shouldn’t those who approved this particular driver to operate a vehicle this size be held accountable for an obvious poor decision?
    Are double decker buses safe?
    Are transitway structures perilous in that the design may impede vision?
    Does management listen to drivers’ concerns and address those concerns ?
    There are indeed many unanswered questions.

  2. I have been told that experienced drivers get to pick the times and routes that they want. The least experience drivers get the times and routes that the others don’t want. Tells me a lot about the double decker buses

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