Ottawa bus crash victim's family sues city, driver's estate

Scene of a fatal bus and train crash near the Fallowfield Transit Station in Ottawa. September...

Scene of a fatal bus and train crash near the Fallowfield Transit Station in Ottawa. September 18,2013. Errol McGihon/QMI Agency

Jon Willing, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:26 AM ET

OTTAWA — The family of Michael Bleakney, who died in a crash between an OC Transpo double-decker and Via Rail train last September, has filed a lawsuit alleging negligence by the city and bus driver.

The suit says Bleakney’s widow, Kathryn, and their four children are owed a total of $1.8 million for the loss of care, guidance and companionship.

Named as defendants are the City of Ottawa and the estate of David Woodard, the 45-year-old driver of the double-decker bus who also died in the collision.

The suit describes how Bleakney -- a 57-year-old geotechnical engineer who worked for Public Works and Government Services -- rode his bike to the Fallowfield Transitway station the morning of Sept. 18, 2013. He boarded the Route 76 double-decker just before 8:45 a.m. with the intention of transferring to another bus to his job in Gatineau, the suit says.

Minutes later, the northbound bus drove through the level rail crossing when the warning arms and signals were activated. The train collided with the front of the bus.

The suit says the bus was travelling at a “high rate of speed and accelerating” as passengers screamed for the driver to slow down.


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