Edmonton police say they don’t plan to charge anyone in connection with the death of a 63-year-old woman who fell out of a public transit bus Dec. 29, the service confirmed Tuesday.
The woman lost her balance and went through the glass of a side door of a community bus, which was heading south on 174th Street and turning onto 95th Avenue, a city spokesperson told The Canadian Press.
The City of Edmonton is investigating.
Edmonton Transit Service’s director of operations, Ryan Birch, said the small bus, supplied by Vicinity Motor Corp., is one of 49 in the city’s total fleet of nearly 1,000 buses.
“We are not immediately aware of any safety issues with this bus,” Birch said in an email to CBC News. “We continue to investigate through an engineering assessment that includes root cause analysis.”
The 30-foot community buses have 24 passenger seats and run regular transit routes that have either less ridership or spaces that are tighter to navigate, such as mall parking lots and seniors centres.
Union supports investigation
The union representing Edmonton transit service employees, the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 569, supports a full assessment.
Steve Bradshaw, president of local 569, said he believes the operator did everything they could to handle the situation, but there’s more to look into.
“We’ve never had any kind of incident like this before,” Bradshaw told CBC News Tuesday. “We still don’t know how it happened.”
Investigators should look at potential material flaws, like something included in the glass that weakened it, and design flaws that possibly allowed a weak spot on the glass, Bradshaw said.
“We hope it’s a one off,” Bradshaw added.
The city said the bus involved in the incident has been in service since 2017 and is within its average life.
Bradshaw also said the company that supplies the buses has a solid reputation.
“They have a pretty good track record,” Bradshaw said. “We’re not hearing problems arising out of them.”
Ward Nakota Isga Coun. Andrew Knack, said he also understood that the bus was operating on route 925 that runs from West Edmonton Mall to Jasper Place Transit Centre.
He doesn’t have further information on the identity of the woman or on the status of the investigation, Knack told CBC News.
A report on the incident will be sent to Transport Canada for review, police said.
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