Archive for the 'Investigation' Category
Media Releases – Bus Driver Charged

Today, the Edmonton Police Service released the following statement:

The EPS Traffic Section has completed their investigation and charged Bruce Charles Perrin, 51, with one count of driving with undue care, and one count of fail to yield to pedestrian in cross walk.


A 28-year-old woman died after she was struck by an ETS bus while crossing a street in downtown Edmonton, at approximately 6:50 a.m. Wednesday, April 20, 2011.

An Edmonton Transit System (ETS) bus was turning left at an intersection at 102A Avenue to head south on 97 Street when it hit the woman, who was crossing in a marked crosswalk on her way to work.

EMS treated the pedestrian on site before transporting the woman to hospital, where her injuries were determined to be fatal.

The Edmonton Journal writes:

A 51-year-old bus driver has been charged with two Traffic Safety Act offences after a 28-year-old woman was killed by an Edmonton Transit bus in April.

The man was charged with failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk and driving without due care.

Ailish O’Connor, 28, was killed on April 20. A Route 1 bus was turning left from 102A Avenue into the southbound lane of 97th Street at about 6:50 a.m., when it hit O’Connor, who was on her way to work. The marked crosswalk is just south of the Edmonton Law Courts building downtown.

The trial is expected to start in June.

CBC News reports:

An Edmonton bus driver has been charged in the death of a 28-year-old city employee in April.

Ailish O’Connor was in a crosswalk at 102A Avenue and 97th Street around 6:50 a.m. on April 20th when she was struck by a transit bus making a left-hand turn. She later died in hospital.

Edmonton city police announced Tuesday that a 51-year-old man has been charged with driving without due care, and failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

I’m not quite sure why this was released today. I knew about the charges almost two months ago, and knew about the trial last month, when the bus driver plead not guilty. Still, I am happy to see that people have not forgotten.

Trial Scheduled

The bus driver entered a plea yesterday. He plead not guilty to both charges against him. A trial was scheduled for June 11, 2012, two hundred and sixty three days later. Coincidentally, two hundred and sixty three days is how long I was married to Ailish, before the bus driver struck and killed her.

I have very little to say here. The bus driver received two charges against him: failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk; and careless driving. Considering that Ailish had the right of way, was in a marked crosswalk, and had a walk signal, being charged with only two traffic code violations already seems like a slap on the wrist. I am disappointed that he plead not guilty.

Court Confusion

Today, I went down to court to file a Victim Impact Statement, and to try to determine if it was worth my while showing up tomorrow, the date of the bus driver’s court date. The result was utter confusion.

Normally, Victim Impact Statements are filed only in criminal cases. The bus driver has been charged under the Traffic Safety Act and is mandated to appear at the Provincial Traffic Court rather than Criminal Court. The lady I spoke to in traffic court clearly had never seen a victim impact statement before and was rather confused by my request to file it. Her supervisor also was unable to shed any light on the matter. She indicated that it would make no difference to the sentence as the penalties had already been set out. She asked what I hoped to accomplish and I stated that the bus driver killed my wife and I wanted to file a Victim Impact Statement. She clearly figured that I was not going to leave the court until they accepted my statement, so she (very reluctantly) did, and added it to the file.

I have little faith that the statement will ever actually be read into the record (or presented to the bus driver) if he is indeed found guilty. Section 3 of the Provincial Offences Procedure Act implies (to me) that they must accept and use the statement, but given the total confusion, I suspect it will conveniently be lost.

After much consultation with friends (thanks, D and J) and with information given to me by the court employee, I will not be attending court tomorrow. If there’s a trial, it almost certainly will not happen then. If he does plead guilty tomorrow, it would be in front of a Justice of the Peace, not in a real courtroom.

At this time, I do not want to publish the statement I wrote. However, I will point out that I had exactly two things I wanted to say when writing the statement:

  1. Ailish was awesome; and
  2. I really miss her.
It’s not quite what you are meant to say in a Victim Impact Statement, but it is all that really matters.

Note: It is possible that some of the information presented below is incorrect, though I think it is accurate.

The police have laid charges against the bus driver who hit and killed Ailish. He faces two counts under the Traffic Safety Act: failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk; and careless driving.

Together, these amount to ten demerits on his driver’s license. I believe criminal charges were not laid because the police (or the crown prosecutor) would need to demonstrate more than a momentary lapse in concentration and/or judgment. It still feels like an awfully small penalty to pay for taking Ailish’s life. But I guess he will have to live with what he’s done for the rest of his life.

Medical Examiner’s Report

Because of the nature of the accident, the Medical Examiner’s Office had to investigate Ailish’s death. And for reasons that are not immediately obvious, they had to do a blood toxicology report. On Friday, they finally wrapped up their investigation. Ailish, as we all knew, had no drugs or alcohol in her system whatsoever.

I expect with this information, the police will wrap up their investigation sometime in the next couple of weeks. I doubt their initial findings will have changed; Ailish was in a marked crosswalk and was crossing with a walk signal. She was not tired or distracted.