Edmonton Sun – Sentencing

This news article was posted to the online edition of the Edmonton Sun on June 14, 2012. You can read it there by following this link. I am republishing it here in case the Edmonton Sun 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.

Bus driver receives fine for fatal crash


Wiping tears from his eyes, an Edmonton Transit bus driver who fatally struck a woman crossing the street in a marked crosswalk last year was handed a $2,000 fine in provincial court Thursday.

When reading her decision, Judge Shelagh Creagh said the incident was a result of a momentary lapse of attention, noting the emotional toll it has taken on both driver Bruce Perrin and the family of victim Ailish O’Connor.

“No matter what point of view one looks at the situation, it’s a tragedy,” said Creagh, adding she hopes everyone can eventually find peace with what happened. “This incident has taken a substantial toll on everyone involved.

Earlier this week, the 53-year-old Perrin pleaded guilty to failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk under the Traffic Safety Act.

According to agreed facts, it was around 6:45 a.m. on April 20, 2011 when Perrin was driving westbound in the left lane on 102A Avenue and came to a stop at a red light at 97 Street.

O’Connor, 28, was on her way to work, standing on the southeast corner of the intersection waiting for the light to turn green.

When the light changed, she began walking west across 97 Street. At the same time, Perrin accelerated from the stop line to turn left and began going south on 97 Street.

O’Connor was about halfway across the street when she was struck by the bus. She was removed from the underside by firefighters and pronounced dead in hospital.

Perrin had been driving a city bus for 30 years without an incident, and claims he got a glaring effect through his eyeglasses from the sunrise being reflected off a building. He has since left his job and now works for Telus screening phone calls.

During his emotional sentencing hearing on Tuesday, the court heard that Perrin was “so paralyzed” by what happened that he does not recall the exact details. He’s refused other job offers to drive a bus, added Creagh in her decision.

“This incident has also taken a toll on him. He’s experienced depression and anxiety,” said Creagh, noting Perrin is described as a kind and gentle man, and was liked by his passengers. “He’s clearly aware of the pain the family is experiencing.”

In a victim impact statement read to the court on Tuesday, O’Connor’s husband of one year, Chris Thompson, said he cries all the time, feels confused and utterly alone.

He wiped tears from his eyes as he listened to Creagh’s decision, and declined to comment on the sentence.

“The only comment I have is that I loved Ailish with all my heart,” said Thompson outside court. “I hope everyone can find peace also.”

In addition to the fine, Perrin was given a 90-day driving ban.

Lonna Cunningham
June 15th, 2012 9:01 PM


“The only comment I have is that I loved Ailish with all my heart,” said Thompson outside court. “I hope everyone can find peace also.”

So perfect. It made me cry.

Peace to you, and to all who are hurting.

June 16th, 2012 11:34 AM

Thank you, Lonna, for all your beautiful comments. Always so appropriate and always so loving.

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