Initial Edmonton Journal article

This news article was posted to the online edition of the Edmonton Journal on April 20, 2011. You can read it there by following this link. I am republishing it here in case the Edmonton Journal subsequently removes the content. I believe doing so constitutes fair use as this entire blog is dedicated to commentary on the event described in the article.

Woman dead after being hit by bus in downtown Edmonton

Transit driver had 29 years experience on the job


EDMONTON — A 28-year-old woman is dead after an Edmonton Transit bus struck her while she crossed a marked downtown intersection on her way to work Wednesday morning.

The intersection at 102A Avenue and 97th Street is just south of the Edmonton Law Courts building.

The Route 1 bus was turning left from 102A Avenue into the southbound lane of 97th Street when it hit the woman at approximately 6:50 a.m. Police think the bus had a green light. They could not confirm which direction the woman was walking.

Fire rescue crews had to free the woman from under the bus. EMS treated the woman on the scene before she was transferred to hospital, where she died.

Police spokeswoman Clair Seyler said the driver was “very devastated” and has been offered counselling.

A long trail of blood was visible in front of the bus, which was parked diagonally across 97th Street.

The roads around the scene were closed for about five hours while police investigated.

The woman’s name will not be released until family has been notified, Seyler said.

Police are also trying to gather additional witness statements and video footage from cameras in the area to determine the circumstances of the accident.

No charges have been laid.

The driver of the bus had 29 years of experience, said Charlie Stolte, transit manager of Edmonton Transit.

“In situations like this, we have a critical incident support team for our employees in coping with the trauma associated with such an incident,” Stolte said.

He noted that the driver was “traumatized” by the event.

“At times like this, we pull together to support each other,” Stolte said.

He did not know if the driver has ever been involved in previous accidents.

As of Wednesday afternoon, he said police were still speaking with the driver.

Edmonton Transit will meet with police about the ongoing investigation into the accident.

“We’re dealing with lots and lots of people on the streets … everyone is going to take that extra second-look after this,” Stolte said.

Wednesday’s accident happened four years to the day of the last traffic fatality involving a transit bus.

On April 20, 2007, Norah Tomlin Henkel, 70, was killed when she was hit by a transit bus while crossing Macdonald Drive at 101st Street.

Henkle was crossing the street on a green walk light.

The bus driver, Audrey Ferguson, was convicted in 2009 of careless driving and failing to yield to a pedestrian. Ferguson was fined $2,000 and had her driver’s licence suspended for three months.

Christopher Thompson
May 23rd, 2011 7:37 PM

I read the original version of this news story on Edmonton Journal’s website a little after 7:30 AM. I was immediately concerned that the news story may be about Ailish; she was the right age and I knew she would be crossing that crosswalk around that time. The police notified me some time after 9:30 AM, and my world fell apart.

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