Ottawa bus driver praised for helping woman fleeing assault
Published Thursday, April 14, 2016 4:18PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, April 14, 2016 6:34PM EDT
OC Transpo driver Dan Stoddard says it was just instinct, “it’s just what I should be doing”. During his regular 96 Route around 1am Wednesday, he spotted a young woman at the bus shelter on Katimavik and Castlefrank Roads in Kanata.
“Once I pulled up she didn’t come out and at one o’clock in the morning when it’s the only bus that drives by and when you’re not coming out, clearly there is something wrong.”
Stoddard then convinced the young woman to get on the bus. She was half-naked, in distress and asking for a phone to call for help. Stoddard called transit security and drove the bus to the Eagleson Road park’n’ride.
Once parked, he asked the two other male passengers to go to the back of the bus, and sat at the front with the woman and comforted her until police and transit security arrived.
“She said that she had been assaulted physically and verbally”, Stoddard said, “Beyond that it was just a matter of listening to her story, reassuring her and telling her it wasn’t her fault.”
Brendan Fowlie was one of the two other passengers on board, “people never hear about the good things they do.”
So touched by Stoddard’s actions, Fowlie took a picture of the driver and woman chatting, a photo that has now gone viral. He says drivers, like Stoddard, should be recognized for what the good they do, “they don’t get credit for the good stuff they do, for the safe arrivals.”
When police and transit security arrived, Stoddard said his good-byes to the young woman and finished his route. He hasn't heard from her since and doesn't expect to, he just hopes she's okay. “Do I know what happened specifically? No I don’t. Did she need help? Yes she did. I helped with what I was able to help with. I didn’t go above and beyond, I did what every human should do.”