Ottawa bus crash driver Dave Woodard remembered at funeral
Hundreds attend service for Dave Woodard, 45, who died in fatal crash
The driver of the Ottawa bus involved in the fatal crash with a Via Rail passenger train was laid to rest Wednesday.
Dave Woodard, 45, and five passengers on OC Transpo Route 76 bus were killed when the bus collided with the Via passenger train 51 on the morning of Sept. 18.
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Ottawa police and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada are investigating the crash, which happened in the south Ottawa suburb of Barrhaven.
Privately held funerals for the five passengers took place last week in Ottawa. Woodard’s funeral took place at the Metropolitan Bible Church and it was open to the public.
Attendants were encouraged to wear green to the service, which was Woodard’s favourite colour.
The sides of many OC Transpo buses also featured an "In Memory" message on Wednesday.
Service attended by more than 1,000 people
As many as 1,500 people attended the emotional ceremony filled with music and tributes for a man friends and family described as their "rock."
During the service, his brother Steve Woodard said a hole will always be in his heart.
"We know he left this earth too early, but the big guy upstairs must have needed a driver to shuttle people around. And he only takes the best," he said.
Dave Woodard was remembered as a man with a big heart who drove people in need around the city during an OC Transpo strike several years ago.
More than 300 OC Transpo drivers showed up to say goodbye, many wearing black armbands in his honour. They said his passengers used to bring him cards and presents.
Woodard leaves behind his children and his wife, Terry.
The investigation into what caused the crash could take months or years.