Ottawa remembers fatal bus-train crash
Public transit in Ottawa came to stop at 8:47 a.m.
Many OC Transpo drivers and their passengers quietly pulled over on the side of the road, taking a moment of silent reflection.
It was at that exact time, one year ago, that the lives of the passengers of a double-decker bus were changed forever. It was at that moment their bus collided with a VIA Rail train, killing six people.
The families of Dave Woodard, Michael Bleakney, Karen Krzyzewski, Rob More, Connor Boyd and Kyle Nash were all asked by the City of Ottawa how they wanted to make the one-year anniversary of the tragic day. All they asked was that the flags of all city buildings be lowered at half-mast.
In addition to pulling over for a moment of silence, many OC Transpo families are also wearing shorts and green in tribute of their lost co-worker Dave Woodard.
The Transportation Safety Board says it will deliver a progress update on the crash, next week.
For survivors, the past year has been a difficult balance between being happy to be alive but haunted by what happened.
"What I went through, I'm still alive. I mean, it's the worst thing that ever happened in my life," says Hazel Watson, a survivor of the crash.
Chad Mariage says he tried to get back on the bus as quickly as possible. He says sitting in the exact same seat on the top level of the bus brings him comfort.
"The seat that kept me safe, I guess you could say. And since then I've tried to sit in the same seat," says Mariage.
Mahima Sharma says she cried the entire night of the crash. While the emotional pain of being a survivor has faded over the past year, her physical injuries have not. Sharma says the whiplash she suffered is a constant reminder of the tragedy.
"For even simple task like reading or sitting for extended periods of time when you're at the office, you're constantly reminded about what happened," she says.
A flood of images and memories came rushing back for Martial Madore as he made arrangements for an annual golf trip. It was the same event, that brought him on the VIA Rail train that day.
'It's a big machine and all the people in it are going to be safe but I'll be thinking about it...every time I get on a train," says Madore.
The family of all six victims asked for privacy on the one-year anniversary of the crash. Their one request was that the City of Ottawa lower the flags of its building at half-mast.
There are discussions with the city to build a permanent memorial for the six people who lost their lives one year ago.
With a report from CTV's John Hua.