Driver charged with assault in downtown pedestrian crash

The 73-year-old driver of a Mini Cooper that struck a pedestrian at Bank Street and Laurier Avenue West faces two charges after witnesses called the incident "road rage."

Stephane Cousineau, 24, improving in hospital after alleged road rage in downtown Ottawa

People are talking about pedestrian safety after a man was charged in a possible case of road rage. 2:09

A 73-year-old driver faces two charges after striking a pedestrian in an alleged road-rage incident in downtown Ottawa.

Police have charged the man with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon after the crash at Bank Street and Laurier Avenue West.

StephaneCousineau, 24, was walking along Laurier when a white Mini Cooper struck him at about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Cousineau, an employee at Kiddytown, was involved in an altercation with the driver moments before, witnesses said.

A 24-year-old man was taken to hospital after he was struck while walking at the intersection of Bank Street and Laurier Avenue West just before noon Wednesday. (Steve Fischer/CBC)

They said he tapped on the hood of the car after it had inched close to him. The witnesses then said the driver hit the gas and ran into the pedestrian in what looked like a case of road rage.

Paramedics said the man suffered chest and stomach injuries. He was taken to The Ottawa Hospital’s Civic campus where his condition has been upgraded to fair.

The intersection doesn't allow motorists to turn right on a red light. Some people told CBC drivers can get impatient when pedestrians are crossing the intersection because the drivers want to turn before the light turns red.

Police said the investigation continues. The driver has been released and he will appear in court at a later date, police said.