Family of Westboro bus crash victim wants answers as trial date set for driver charged
Aissatou Diallo, the OC Transpo driver charged in the fatal Westboro bus crash in January, will go to trial March 22, 2021.
The 42-year-old elected to stand trial by judge alone.
The trial date was set Tuesday morning. The trial is expected to last eight weeks.
Diallo is facing three counts of dangerous driving causing death and 35 counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm. Earlier this year, Diallo waived arraignment in the case, which means an automatic not guilty plea.
The crash happened Jan. 11, after the double decker bus slammed into a metal overhang at Westboro station during the rush hour home. Bruce Thomlinson, Judy Booth and Anja Van Beek were killed, and 35 others were injured.
Police charged the 42-year-old back in August following an eight-month investigation. At the time, police said no charges would be laid against the City of Ottawa, and the investigation was closed.
But families of victims in the crash want to know why OC Transpo was cleared of all criminal wrongdoing.
Just weeks before January's fatal collision, Diallo had been involved in a collision at St-Laurent Station. She was behind the wheel of an articulated bus when it hit a parked bus.
OC Transpo requires that a driver involved in a crash be re-trained and assessed before that driver can return to the roads.
"Why is it so focused on her and not on specific OC Transpo, and the training practices and whoever was responsible for putting her back in the seat after the fact," said Andrew Van Beek, brother of Anja Van Beek, one of three passengers killed in January's fatal crash.
"It'd be really nice to know more about that because it hasn't been addressed at all, why is it being held back?"
The Crown said August of 2020 was offered, but Diallo's counsel was unavailable until March of 2021.
"There's nothing you can do about it," said Van Beek.
"You can be angry for so long but it takes up all your energy."
Two days for pre-trial motions will begin March 8th.