The OC Transpo bus involved in the Friday accident at Westboro Station was removed from the site, revealing extensive damage, on January 12, 2019. David Kawai / Postmedia
Questions are being raised about how the OC Transpo investigates incidents involving its drivers after allegations by operators that the driver involved in Friday's fatal crash at Westboro Station was in another collision a few days earlier.
Aissatou Diallo was driving the OC Transpo 269 bus en route to the downtown Bridlewood neighborhood of Kanata on Friday when the bus hit the bus shelter at Westboro Station shortly before 4:00 p.m. The boss cut the top level of the double-decker bus. Three people were killed and 23 wounded. Police say the 90-passenger bus was almost at full capacity.
Diallo was arrested on the spot, taken to police headquarters on Elgin Street and interrogated before being released unconditionally on Friday night. Although police have not detailed publicly why she was arrested, Citizen found that Diallo allegedly did not cooperate with the police on the scene. They felt that she needed to be arrested to be properly detained and questioned. She has not been charged with any crime or crime and the police maintain that she has no reason to believe any offense has been committed. An examination of the evidence and facts will reveal what happened, police said, and whether there were any violations.
Ottawa police collision investigators continue what police called a "meticulous" process of joining what went wrong on Friday afternoon. This investigation will examine what witnesses have already described as possible sun-reflex factors colliding in a driver's field of vision, reports of black and regular ice on the road-the possibility of mechanical failures and bus speed.
Police will also look at the record of Diallo, which, according to several sources, includes at least one other collision in the days prior to the Westboro incident.
Police are aware of the other collision, the citizen knew, but it is not yet known whether the police responded to the previous collision or investigated it as a separate incident. In a statement to the citizen, the police spokesman, Const. Chuck Benoit said the force would not be "addressing these kinds of questions".
"The Westboro collision is an ongoing and very complex investigation," said Benoit. "We will not be able to comment on anyone who is part of any ongoing investigation."
The union president representing OC Transpo drivers refused to answer questions about Diallo's driving record, his current driver status, when he was hired, which happens when a driver is involved in a collision (whether small or serious ) or additional training is required when such an incident occurs.
Clint Crabtree also declined to answer questions about what the protocol is for drivers involved in a collision where police respond to the scene.
In a statement to the citizen, Crabtree wrote: "We are deeply saddened by the tragic accident involving an OC Transpo bus on Friday, January 11, 2019.
"On behalf of the members of Local 279, we send our deepest condolences to the families that have lost their loved ones. Our thoughts are with those who were passengers or were injured on that bus, or who could have witnessed this collision. "
He also thanked the rescuers "who quickly attended the wounded."
The citizen also learned that the union was not aware that Diallo had been arrested on Friday until police announced at a news conference.
Crabtree declined to comment whether Diallo has legal representation or what kind of mental health support is being offered to her and other drivers.