Skip to content

One year later, family of Westboro bus crash victim still waiting for apology

"I'd truly love a heartfelt, 'We're sorry,'" said Karen Benvie, daughter of victim Judy Booth.
2019-01-12 Westboro Station bus crash MV1
OC Transpo bus crashed in Westboro Station, January 12, 2019. Mike Vlasveld/ OttawaMatters

Although a family member of a Westboro bus crash victim says it's a step in the right direction that the City of Ottawa has accepted civil responsibility for the tragic incident, she would still like it to go one step farther.

"It feels validating, finally that they're stepping up and admitting some responsibility behind the accident," said Karen Benvie, daughter of Judy Booth, one of three passengers who died when an OC Transpo double-decker bus struck a steel awning at Westboro Station on January 11, 2019.

Booth, Bruce Thomlinson and Anja van Beek were killed and nearly two dozen people were injured when the westbound bus crashed during the afternoon commute that day.

The formal admission will set aside any deliberation regarding the legal responsibility and allow the city and its insurers to focus on determining what compensation is owed to the victims and the families. Thirteen parties have filed formal lawsuits, while eighteen more have signaled that they will be taking legal action against the City of Ottawa.

Benvie told 1310 NEWS, she's relieved the city has finally accepted responsibility, but she's also looking for an apology.

"I'd truly love a heartfelt, 'We're sorry,'" said Benvie, adding that she'd appreciate one from the city, OC Transpo, the driver of the bus Aissatou Diallo and everybody involved.

She explained that she would also like to see the Transitway made safer, including the removal of the steel awnings on local bus stations. 

OC Transpo has launched an independent review of the Transitway and its stations, with plans to look at the design of the steel awnings and speed limits in the area.

The independent review comes after the city's fatal collision review committee made recommendations.

Benvie said that for them to have waited a whole year to make safety improvements is ridiculous.

"Clearly there's a flaw somewhere, clearly it's not safe... and for them to wait this long, it feels like they didn't want to admit there was a problem."


About the Author: Chris Kurys

Read more
Rogers Sports & Media
2001 Thurston Drive Ottawa, ON, K1G 6C9
© 2006-2021 Rogers Sports & Media. All rights reserved.