$26M in Damages Claimed for VIA Rail Crash in Ontario

The driver of an Ottawa bus that crashed into a Via Rail passenger train, killing five passengers and himself in 2013, was likely distracted by a video screen he was required to monitor on the job, the Transportation and Safety Board says.

TSB Canada released an official report which also listed speed of the bus, the curve of the road ahead of the crossing, company practices and bus crashworthiness as contributing factors. Read full TSB report here.

There were 83 people on the OC Transpo bus when it crashed into passenger train No. 51 the morning of Sept. 18, 2013. Dozens of people were also injured in the collision at a level rail crossing near Fallowfield station in the south Ottawa suburb of Barrhaven.

Investigator Robert Johnston said the four-quadrant video monitor in the bus, which allows the driver to view the stairwell, upper deck, side doors and exterior of the bus, is a visual distraction.

36 lawsuits claim $26M in damages

The families of all five passengers who died in the crash have filed lawsuits against the city and the bus driver’s estate. The City of Ottawa has paid out nearly $2 million to settle six lawsuits, while another 30 lawsuits related to the crash remain unsettled, for a total of $26M in damages.

Read more at CBC News Ottawa