TSB to join investigation into fatal Ottawa bus crash
Transportation Safety Board will provide 'technical expertise' but won't play a role in assigning fault
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) will join the investigation into a bus crash at Ottawa's Westboro station last week that left three people dead and nearly two dozen injured, Ottawa police say.
The TSB will provide "technical expertise with respect to safety matters relating to this collision," and will have no role in assigning either criminal or civil fault, Chief Charles Bordeleau said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
Bordeleau said Ottawa police made a "formal request" for the federal agency's help.
"Our officers do amazing work. They're experts in their field. But there are certain things that the TSB does have access to ... that will help us find all the answers that we are looking for," he said.
"I'm pleased that they're full partners in supporting us."
Bus crashed into shelter
Three people were killed and 23 injured when a close-to-full Route 269 double-decker bus taking downtown passengers to the western suburb of Kanata crashed into the bus shelter.
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The TSB's mandate is to advance transportation safety by conducting investigations that result in public reports and making recommendations.
It had previously said it was willing to assist with the case, but didn't have the legal power to take over the investigation.
Bordeleau said police reached out to the TSB immediately following the Jan. 11 crash, and he decided yesterday to allow the board to "augment the reconstruction portion of this investigation."
Ottawa police would continue to lead the investigation, he said.
Brad Hampson, a former collision investigation officer who also knew one of the three who died, Judy Booth, told CBC on Tuesday he thinks the TSB should investigate major public transit collisions.
"I know [police are] doing a bang-up job, they are experts in their craft and I have full faith they're going to do everything that they can to get to the bottom of how this all occurred," he said.
"Generally in these types of accidents, with the major recommendations that are going to be coming out of them, it might be something that people might want to think about is mandating that [the TSB] be involved in these types of investigations, of course with the lead agency being the local police forces."
3 killed were aboard bus
Bordeleau also offered updates on the investigation, now in its fifth day — including news that all three people killed had been passengers on the bus.
Initial reports suggested one of the three had been standing on the Westboro station platform.
Two people were also thrown from the bus, Bordeleau said. They were seriously hurt but survived.
Bordeleau said roughly four-fifths of the passengers on board the Kanata-bound bus have been in touch with police, and he encouraged those who hadn't been in contact with them to reach out.
The formal interviews with passengers would take "a couple of weeks," he said.