No animals hurt after bus crashes into vet clinic, cops look for suspect
Paramedics say they took one person to hospital with very minor injuries
London police are looking for the driver of a Volkswagen after a crash that sent a London Transit bus into the side of a veterinary clinic just after midnight Wednesday.
The crash caused about $610,000 in damages to the North London Neighbourhood Pet Clinic, officials say.
London police say an officer saw a vehicle driving the wrong way on a side street at about 11:45 p.m. Tuesday. The officer tried to pull over the vehicle near Hyman and Waterloo streets, in London's Old North neighbourhood.
The driver turned the headlights of the vehicle off, made no attempt to stop and fled northbound on Waterloo, officers say. The officer didn't chase the vehicle and instead notified other units in the area, London police said.
The vehicle drove through a red light at Waterloo and Oxford Streets, where it struck a bus. That caused the bus to slam into the vet clinic. The driver of the car then fled the area on foot. Police looked for the driver but couldn't find him or her.
This morning, the bus remained lodged in the corner of the building.
"We need to get a structural engineer in to see the load," said Brent Barr, the business director of the North London Neighbourhood Pet Clinic.
"I'm not sure if the roof fell on the bus or if the bus fit perfectly into that space, but it looks like the bus is kind of holding the roof up right now."
There were no animals in the clinic at the time of the crash, Barr said.
Neighbours say they saw police searching the Old North neighbourhood shortly after the crash.
London Transit General Manager Kelly Paleczny said the bus was driving on Oxford Street when a vehicle came through a red light on Waterloo Street and hit the back of the bus.
"It knocked the bus out of the way and propelled it into the vet clinic," she said. "The driver is fine. He was taken to hospital as a precaution but he's home now and is fine."
There were no passengers on board the bus, and it's unclear if the bus will return to the road.
Vet cases being transferred
The clinic is suffering an unlucky streak. Just two weeks ago, a car drove into the side of the clinic, causing $30,000 in damage. Crews had just put the finishing touches on the repairs this week, Barr said.
"I'll get the price estimate later on today, at which point I'll probably sit down and cry."
The damages will be covered by insurance but the time needed to do the repairs will hurt, Barr said.
"We have a lot of neighbours around here that need us, and a lot of furry family members that need us," he said.
Urgent vet cases are being transferred to the Westmount Neighbourhood Pet Clinic. The store will be partially open today, he said.