Passengers recount horrific Westboro bus crash in day two of driver trial
OTTAWA -- Day two of the trial for the OC Transpo bus driver accused in the deadly 2019 Westboro bus crash included some harrowing testimony about the frantic moments after impact.
Court heard accounts from two riders who were on the bus on Jan. 11, 2019. The passengers described the chaos of the immediate aftermath of the crash and the actions of the driver, Aissatou Diallo.
Witness Brittney Worrall told the court she was on her way home from work that day, recalling what happened when the double-decker bus crashed into the Westboro Station.
“I got knocked over a bit, but I wasn’t knocked down to the ground,” she said.
“I could hear screaming and crying from upstairs and then, when I saw the red liquid, which I thought was blood, I kind of put two and two together and thought that people might be really hurt upstairs.”
She also told the court about a brief exchange she had with Diallo after the crash, telling her people were injured, before getting off the bus
“She seemed a little dazed,” said Worrall. “I remember wondering why she was standing there at the front when we were trying to get off.”
The defence challenged her account of that exchange.
“I want to refresh your memory because I'm going to suggest to you that you actually told police you knew why she was standing there; you knew what she was doing,” said Diallo’s lawyer Solomon Friedman.
“You said she was trying to kind of direct people to get off the front of the bus,” he added.
Tuesday's second witnesss, Brian Thiessen, detailed his experience on bus 8155 that day, describing the moment it crashed.
“I fell on the floor, I got back up, all the glass on the front of the bus was just like little pellets,” said Thiessen.
Diallo’s lawyers used cross-examination to point to several corrections the witness made after his initial police report.
“Are there any other memories you want to correct?” the defence asked the witness.
Diallo’s lawyers also used audio and video to highlight a sound heard on the bus moments before it drove off the roadway.
Three people were killed and 23 others were injured when a double-decker bus struck an overhang at the Westboro Station at 3:50 p.m. on Jan. 11, 2019.
Diallo faces 35 counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm and three counts of dangerous driving causing death. She has pleaded not guilty.