Councillor Allan Hubley says he is ready and able to help all those affected by Friday’s incident when and OC Transpo bus crashed into a shelter, killing three and sending over 20 to hospital.
Hubley says he has received several calls for assistance and knows that there will most likely be more to come in the days ahead.
“It’s still unfolding,” said Hubley. “I’m talking to people last night and today who were either on the bus or had relatives on the bus and just being of any assistance possible. For example, somebody was trying to figure out how to retrieve personal items from the bus and we were able to get a hold of the police and get them the information they needed.”
Hubley went on to illustrate that Kanata is very small town with only a few degrees of separation between everybody which also includes himself as a member of his extended family is still in hospital due to injuries sustained in the crash.
“Yes, there is a personal impact here, but there is also a community impact that I worry a lot about,” said Hubley.
Hubley said he has been in close contact with Barrhaven councillor Jan Harder, whose ward went through a similar tragedy in 2013 when another double-decker bus collided with a VIA Rail train, killing six.
“She was one of the first people I contacted,” said Hubley. “We’ve spoken multiple times since. We’re colleagues, but we’re also friends. It was very raw for her last night, as well, and yet she was able to tell me a few of the things that need to be done.”
Hubley went on to say that he will continue to work with Harder, knowing she is one of the best resources when it comes to an tragedy like this.
“We’re going to talk a lot over the days and weeks ahead about how to help our community and learn from the lessons that she learned,” said Hubley.
As for what’s to come in the days ahead, Hubley says he will continue to remain in the community and speak to anyone who needs it. People have contacted him through social media, private messages, telephone and email, and the councillor has also said he will be making his way to the gathering places in the area to let people know he is there if needed.
On top of being councillor for the area, Hubley is also chair of the transit committee. Concerns have been raised on social media after the crash as to the safety of double-decker buses, considering this is the second such incident to hit the city in six years.
Hubley assures riders that in both the Barrhaven incident and most likely this one as well, the bus is not to blame.
“This accident is still under investigation so the Ottawa police will speak to the investigation and I have every confidence in them doing a thorough investigation,” said Hubley. “In the previous accident, the Transportation Safety Board said the bus was not a factor in that.
“It’s a tragedy what has happened, but at this point there is no indication that any action needs to be taken on the buses.”
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