OC Transpo driver Dave Woodard's family satisfied with TSB report on 2013 bus-train crash
'The finger-pointing can be stopped,' says driver's stepson
Family members of the OC Transpo driver who was among six people killed when a bus collided with a train two years ago say they're ready to move on after the release of today's Transportation and Safety Board findings into the cause of the fatal crash.
"I'm happy that we're getting closure today, and that the finger-pointing can be stopped," said Martin Leury, the stepson of Dave Woodard, who was behind the wheel when the bus collided with a Via Rail passenger train at a level crossing near Fallowfield Station in the south Ottawa suburb of Barrhaven.
- OC Transpo driver likely distracted by video monitor before deadly bus-train crash
- TIMELINE | The bus-train crash of Sept. 18, 2013
On Wednesday, the TSB issued its final report into the collision. It concluded Woodard had likely been distracted by a video console he was required to monitor while on the job. The four-quadrant screen allows OC Transpo drivers to view a double-decker's stairwell, upper deck, side doors and exterior.
The board found that Woodard was also likely distracted by passengers on the lower deck discussing the seating availability on the upper deck just before the crash.
Although Woodard's bus was travelling about seven kilometres per hour over the posted speed limit, the collision "could have happened to just about any driver," investigator Robert Johnston said.
Driver's estate named in lawsuits
Thirty-six lawsuits were filed in the wake of the fatal collision, including lawsuits filed by the families of all five passengers killed in the crash. All of those lawsuits named both the city and the bus driver's estate, as did another lawsuit filed by Via Rail.
Six of the 36 lawsuits — including two filed by the families of Michael Bleakney, 57, and Rob More, 35 — were settled ahead of Wednesday's report.
Speaking on behalf of the Woodard family, Leury said they were happy with the TSB report and "wouldn't wish" their experience over the past two years on anyone else.
"We lost somebody just like the other [families] lost someone," said Leury. "Our lives were affected just as much as theirs were."
Woodard's widow posted this to Facebook: