Impaired driving ruled out in deadly Transitway crash


Ottawa police have ruled out impaired driving as a possible cause of Friday’s fatal OC Transpo crash as they work to gain access to the vehicle’s data recorder and on-board video footage.


Police Chief Charles Bordeleau confirmed on CBC Radio’s Ottawa Morning Monday that impairment was not a factor in the rush-hour crash at Westboro station that killed three people and injured 23.

CBC News has learned the driver’s name is Aissatou Diallo. Neither OC Transpo nor city officials have so far commented on her level of experience or driving record.

Diallo was arrested at the scene for questioning and later released without charges.

The condition of the bus-only Transitway is just one possible factor police collision experts are examining. Some passengers reported the bus appeared to skid before slamming into the shelter overhang.

“We’ll see if there was ice and if it did or didn’t have an impact on the collision,” Bordeleau said.

Officers with the collision unit used drones to survey the scene from above and have performed a re-enactment of the crash, Bordeleau said.

Among their next steps: gaining access to the bus’s event recorder — similar to an airplane’s black box — and scouring any on-board video captured at the time of the crash.

Police have filed warrants to obtain that data.

“Long, detailed, and complex.” That’s how Ottawa Police are describing the ongoing investigation into Friday’s bus crash at Westboro station. Police Chief Charles Bordeleau is here to explain what that investigation entails. 8:53

Bordeleau said there could also be a coroner’s inquest into the incident.

He promised a “thorough, independent investigation” into the crash, dismissing suggestions that one city agency investigating another could be seen as a conflict.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said Monday he has full confidence in the police investigation, and said early speculation about the cause of the crash is unhelpful.

Watson also expressed his full confidence in the city’s fleet of double-decker buses.

On Monday, Transport Canada confirmed its motor vehicle collision investigations team is “working closely with the Ottawa Police Service and OC Transpo to provide every possible support during the investigation, including collision investigation and vehicle inspections.”