Photo courtesy of Transportation Safety Board of Canada
The family of a man who was killed in September’s collision between an OC Transpo bus and a VIA Rail train has filed a lawsuit against the City of Ottawa and the estate of the bus driver.
The family of Michael Bleakney, 57, is suing the estate of Dave Woodard, 45, who was also killed in the crash, and the City of Ottawa, claiming $1.8 million for the loss of care, guidance, and companionship due to negligence on the part of the driver.
Bleakney and Woodard were two of the six people killed in the collision. Also among the deceased were Carleton University students Connor Boyd and Kyle Nash, both 21, Karen Krzyzewski, 53, and Rob More, 35.
The lawsuit claims several allegations, among them failing to see the train “though it was in clear view,” driving in a “dangerous, careless, or reckless manner,” and being an “incompetent driver” lacking in reasonable care.
“Mr. Woodard was driving the bus at a high rate of speed and accelerating,“ the lawsuit claims. “He failed to see the train on the tracks in the subject crossing, despite the fact it was in plain, clear view.”
The City of Ottawa is also named as a defendant for allegedly having allowed Woodard to drive the vehicle despite his incompetence or impairment, and for the mechanical conditions of the bus.
None of the claims have been proven in court. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada said it could take several months to complete the report on the crash.
Both Mayor Jim Watson and Howard Yegendorf, the lawyer representing the family, have declined to comment.