OC Transpo driver in Westboro crash expected to face criminal charges

UPDATE 11:25 a.m. Aug. 23: The Ottawa Police Service Collision Investigation Unit has charged the driver of an OC Transpo bus with multiple criminal offences as a result of the investigation into the Westboro Station bus collision on Jan. 11, 2019 at 3:50 p.m.
Aissatou Diallo, 42-years-old of Ottawa, turned herself in to police this morning and was charged with three counts of dangerous driving causing death and 35 counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

She was released with a promise to appear and is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 17.

“The Collision Investigation Unit was the lead in this investigation,” the OPS released in a statement. “Its mandate was to determine if any offences had occurred by any party in this collision and identify the cause of the collision and any contributing factors to the fatalities and the severity of the injuries.”

The unit worked closely with partners in the Regional Supervising Coroner’s Office, Transport Canada, the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario as well as the OPP and RCMP. Furthermore, under the authority of the Office of the Chief Coroner, OPS worked with the Transportation Safety Board to collect data relevant to the coroner’s separate investigation into the three deaths. Considering the matter is before the courts, the Ottawa Police is not going to comment further.

WEST CARLETON – The driver of the OC Transpo bus involved in last year’s crash that killed Woodlawn’s  Judy Booth is expected to be charged in relation to the incident today (Aug. 23).

Judy Booth at the Constance Bay Community Market. Photo courtesy CBCM
Judy Booth at the Constance Bay Community Market. Photo courtesy CBCM

Police are expected to announce a number of charges including dangerous driving causing death and criminal negligence against Aissatou Diallo who was operating the bus at the time of the crash at Westboro station on Jan. 11.

Diallo was driving the westbound double-decker bus heading from downtown to Kanata’s Bridlewood area shortly before 4 p.m. The bus veered in to the Westboro station causing devastating damage. The overhang of the station ripped through the upper level of the bus killing three people and injuring 23 more.

Diallo was arrested at the scene, questioned by police and released later that evening.

After a seven-month investigation involving interviews with all passengers, a full inspection of the bus and transitway and consultation with prosecutors earlier this week, police have decided to charge Diallo.

Diallo had been on the job for less than a year and was on probation. Diallo had been in a previous collision with another bus just a month earlier at St. Laurent station – although it is not known if she was at fault in that collision. Diallo was sent for further safety training after the collision.

There is also a $60-million class-action lawsuit filed by passengers who were on the bus against the City of Ottawa and Diallo.

Booth’s widower Ches Booth spoke to West Carleton Online two weeks ago at an event at the Constance Bay Community Market honouring Booth’s memory. “Every day is a different challenge,” he said at the time. “The police have been stellar. I hope justice gets served and the proper people get charged.”