3 public servants killed in Ottawa bus crash named

Ottawa police have identified Anja Van Beek, Judy Booth and Bruce Thomlinson as the three people killed in a bus crash Friday in Ottawa.

Anja Van Beek, Judy Booth and Bruce Thomlinson killed in Transitway crash Jan. 11

Police have identified the victims of Friday's fatal bus crash. Bruce Thomlinson, 56, left, Judy Booth, 57, centre, and Anja Van Beek, 65, right, all died in the crash. (Ottawa Police Service)

Ottawa police have named the three people killed in Friday's bus crash at Westboro station in Ottawa.

An OC Transpo double-decker bus slammed into a bus shelter at the start of the afternoon rush hour, killing three people and injuring nearly two dozen more.

Dead in the crash are Anja Van Beek, 65, Judy Booth, 57, and Bruce Thomlinson, 56.

The three were public servants. Thomlinson worked for the Canada Border Services Agency, while Van Beek worked for the federal Treasury Board. The National Capital Commission confirmed to CBC News that Booth was retired but still assisted in the access to information and privacy office, where she'd been working Friday prior to the collision.

An email sent to CBSA staff Monday morning said one employee there had been killed and one seriously injured, while two other workers had family members hurt in the crash.

Ottawa police offered their condolences Monday as they confirmed the names of the dead.

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"The identification of those who died is a difficult and important process, and I want to offer the condolences of the Ottawa police and our entire community," said Chief Charles Bordeleau.

"We have worked to support the families and loved ones of those involved and will continue to be there for them."

We are devastated by the loss of Bruce.- Family of Bruce Thomlinson

"This tragedy has shaken our family deeply," Booth's family wrote in a statement released by Ottawa police.

"Judy was a cherished wife to Ches and loving mother to both of her girls, Holly and Karen," the statement reads.

"She was an absolute treasure and a beautiful soul that will be profoundly missed by her family and many friends."

Van Beek's family wrote that they're grieving her loss and asked for privacy. They said she had been on her way home to Kanata from work when she was killed in the crash. She leaves behind her husband, two daughters and extended family in Ottawa, Toronto and the Netherlands.

"We are devastated by the loss of Bruce," Thomlinson's family wrote, remembering the father of two boys.

Thomlinson gave his family "great joy in life through his silliness, sense of humour and love of the outdoors," they wrote.

23 taken to hospital

Nearly two dozen others were injured in the crash and taken to hospital.

The Ottawa Hospital said Friday night it had as many as nine people in critical condition out of the 18 patients it took in, triggering what's known as a "code orange" and shifting resources to its emergency room.

Less than 24 hours later, it said only one patient still required critical care. By Monday, every critical patient had been upgraded to serious or stable condition.

The Queensway Carleton Hospital also handled a number of patients, but in the end, only one person was admitted — and that person has been upgraded to stable condition.

The Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario didn't take in any children.

Investigators worked throughout the weekend combing the scene of the crash at Westboro station, trying to determine what caused the deadly crash. The double-decker bus, which was a year old, was equipped with a "black box" and cameras.

"We want to find out how this happened and how to ensure it never happens again, but most importantly I don't think it's helpful at all for people to speculate on the reasons," said Mayor Jim Watson Monday while signing a book of condolences.

"I have full confidence that [police] will do a thorough investigation and when appropriate release as much information as possible so we can ensure that this never happens again."

People can sign a book of condolence for the crash victims at Ottawa City Hall or online until Sunday, Jan. 20.

With files from The Canadian Press