Ottawa police identify three public servants who died in bus crash

Transport Canada officials look at the scene where a double-decker city bus struck a transit shelter at the start of the afternoon rush hour on Friday, at Westboro Station in Ottawa, on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

OTTAWA - Ottawa police have identified the three people who died in a bus crash in the city on Friday.

Bruce Thomlinson, 56, Judy Booth, 57, and Anja Van Beek, 65, died in the collision.

"The identification of those who died is a difficult and important process and I want to offer the condolences of the Ottawa Police and our entire community," said Chief Charles Bordeleau. “We have worked to support the families and loved ones of those involved and will continue to be there for them."

All three were public servants. Thomlinson worked for the Canadian Border Services Agency; Van Beek worked for the federal Treasury Board. CTV reported that Booth had retired from the National Capital Commission but still worked there part-time on contract.

An email sent to CBSA staff Monday morning said one employee there had been killed and one seriously injured, and two other workers had family members hurt in the crash.

Besides Thomlinson, Booth and Van Beek, 23 people were hurt badly enough to be taken to hospitals by paramedics after their double-decker bus slammed into a shelter at a station west of downtown at the start of the evening rush hour Friday.

The bus, on an express route from downtown to the suburb of Kanata, wasn't scheduled to stop at Westboro station, and was moving at a high speed. The roof of the shelter cut through the right side of the bus's upper deck.

Const. Chuck Benoit of the Ottawa police said several of the people hurt had limbs amputated.

The police investigation is now focusing on speaking with eyewitnesses and combing through the wreckage of the bus looking for clues about what caused the crash.

Mayor Jim Watson opened a condolence book at Ottawa's city hall at mid-day Monday. It has been just five years since another Ottawa double-decker bus broke through a warning gate at a rail crossing and hit a moving Via passenger train, killing six bus passengers.


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