Transit riders on the scene of the Westboro Station bus crash, those who arrived in the chaos-filled moments following impact, and the community members dealing with the fallout shared accounts of the tragedy Friday night.
Here are some of their words.
“The bus just started shaking.”
– A passenger on the bus, a public servant
“I remember hearing the bus driver saying, ‘Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God.’
“People just started screaming. There was some kind of fluid leaking, so everybody just started jumping out of the window in the seat that I was in.
“You couldn’t get out the doors. Two people, for sure, flew out of the top front, maybe more.”
– A woman who was on the bus, a member of the military
“The whole top of the bus was totalled.
“I couldn’t believe it, me and my best friend fight to sit at the front of the bus. And now I’m just … terrified, it’s absolutely heartbreaking.”
– An eyewitness who arrived within moments of the crash
“As to the driver, I can advise you without getting into details, there was a requirement for us to arrest her at the scene.
“I can tell you that something led us to arrest the individual and take them to the station.”
– Police Chief Charles Bordeleau, speaking about the driver of the bus
“We’re having a mass casualty event … there’s some really critical patients.”
– A doctor at The Ottawa Hospital’s Civic campus, addressing the waiting room
“He’s not answering his cell phone. It goes directly to voicemail. So we’re not really sure.”
– Kanata resident Mary Hawkeye, who feared her son was on the bus, and hadn’t heard from him since the crash. He later called her from home
“It is with deep sadness that I report that there were three confirmed casualties, two of which were on the bus and one that was on the platform.”
“Over the coming hours and days, the Ottawa police and transportation services will continue to look into exactly what transpired earlier today, but our focus for now must be to provide care and sympathy to those injured and affected by this tragic accident.”
– Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, at an evening press conference
“Safety and security of our transit system and our riders is our top priority. We’re taking every necessary step to establish all of the facts and will cooperate fully with any investigation.”
– The city’s transportation general manager John Manconi, at an evening press conference
“I want to send my deepest condolences to the families of victims and everyone affected by today’s tragic bus crash in Ottawa. Thank you to the first responders who rushed to help — we’re monitoring the situation closely,”
– Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in a tweet Friday night
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