One person dead, several injured as wintry conditions blamed for bus accidents
Sûreté du Québec urging drivers to delay travel, or slow down as snow turns to rain
Winter weather is being blamed for two serious bus accidents — one of them fatal — that occurred Saturday morning.
A Longueuil city bus, chartered to carry a group of the municipality's transit employees and their family members, veered off Highway 10, near Carignan, on Montreal's south shore.
Violent winds forced the bus off the road, according to the Réseau de transport de Longueuil (RTL).
As the passengers were milling about on the side of the road, one was struck by a passing Canadian Forces jeep, police said.
Military police joined Quebec provincial police on the scene.
Five other passengers were also injured. The group had been heading to Lac-Mégantic for a snowshoeing excursion.
Victim was trying to keep others safe
The man killed, Claude Davidson, was a city bus driver for Longueuil.
He was doing his job ... It's a tragedy.- Anne-Louise Milot, RTL spokeswoman
According to the RTL, Davidson was in his 40s and had worked for them since 2001.
Anne-Louise Milot, a spokeswoman for the RTL, said after the bus swerved off the road, passengers reported smelling diesel. She said Davidson, a passenger, went outside to make sure there were no leaks.
"He was doing his job. He knows [safety] rules when there's an accident. He just did it to ensure the security of all the other people on the bus ... It's a tragedy." Milot said.
The remaining passengers returned to Longueuil, where they were offered psychological assistance.
Longueuil Mayor Caroline St-Hilaire announced on social media that the municipal flag will fly at half-mast in mourning.
Mes sympathies à la famille du chauffeur du <a href="https://twitter.com/RTL_info">@RTL_info</a> décédé sur la route. Les drapeaux de l'hôtel de ville de <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Longueuil?src=hash">#Longueuil</a> seront en berne.—@Sthilairec
Orléans Express bus involved in separate incident
Poor road conditions are also being linked to an accident on Highway 20, near Mont-Saint-Hilaire.
An Orléans Express bus skidded off the highway Saturday morning, ending up in a ditch. Paramedics took two passengers to hospital.
While provincial police officers were attending to the scene, a large truck slammed into one of their cruisers.
The officers inside were also taken to hospital, police said. Their injuries, as well as those of the bus passengers, were described as minor.
Police have opened an investigation into whether the driver of the truck should be charged.
Quebec provincial police said the bus won't be towed until Sunday morning, which means it will have to remain in the median overnight.