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Police release driver in fatal Ottawa bus crash without charges

Police release driver in fatal Ottawa bus crash without charges
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OTTAWA — Police have released the driver of a double-decker bus that crashed into a transit shelter in Ottawa and left three people dead and 23 more injured.

The driver of the OC Transpo bus was released unconditionally pending further investigation. She was arrested and brought in for questioning after the crash Friday, Ottawa police said Saturday.

Investigators worked through the night and identified the three victims and contacted their families, said Const. Amy Gagnon. Their names will not be released at this time.

She said Ottawa police’s collision investigation unit remains on the scene as it continues its examination of the collision.

The city bus hopped a curb and struck a transit shelter at about 3:50 p.m. Friday just as rush hour began. It plowed along the platform and into the overhanging roof of the transit shelter, carving deep into the vehicle’s second deck. The first seats on the upper level of the bus were crushed together.

Officials say two of the dead were passengers on the bus, and the third was on the platform at Westboro station, a major stop on the city’s busway.

OC Transpo has issued notices saying detours are in effect for the Dominion and Westboro transit stations. Road closures remain in place near the scene of the collision and police are asking the public to avoid the area.

During a press conference Friday, neither Police Chief Charles Bordeleau nor Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson would speculate on why the bus had left the road.

“Our (city) community has been rocked today. I know all those impacted by this tragedy will be surrounded and supported by many,” Bordeleau wrote in a tweet published late Friday evening.

“Please keep victims, witnesses, families and our amazing first responders in your thoughts.”

Paramedics said a total of 25 people were taken to hospital, suggesting one of the victims could not be revived at the scene and the other two died after arriving. Of those transported, 14 were in critical condition and 11 were in serious condition. Most of the serious injuries were incurred by passengers on the upper-right side of the bus.

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