Bus driver faces bylaw charges for Transitway crash

An OC Transpo driver is being charged under a public transit bylaw following a rush-hour crash on the Transitway last month that sent 12 people to hospital.

Merrick Morgan, 64, of Ottawa is charged with “failing to ensure it is safe to turn left at any intersection,” said Ottawa police Const. Henri Lanctot.

“The turn did cause a collision.”

The provincial Highway Traffic Act only applies to public property, said Lanctot.

Since the Transitway is private, Morgan is facing a $125 fine under bylaw 2007-268.

On Feb. 7, a route 98 bus crashed into a route 61 around 4:30 p.m. near an access point where buses exit Tunney’s Pasture station to get onto the Transitway.

A passenger at the front of the 61 saw the whole thing.

“Our bus got T-boned as the other bus was pulling out turning left,” he told the Sun at the time.

“From the view point of the other driver, our bus would have been blocked from view as there was another bus turning right going up that road.  There was also bright sun in the direction we were facing, which could have been a contributing factor.”

Buses and cars in the downtown core were backed up as emergency crews blocked the area, causing headaches for commuters during the afternoon rush

In 14 years of driving, this is Morgan’s first incident, transit union boss Garry Queale said, adding that stretch of the Transitway is notoriously difficult to navigate.

The union wants the speed limit in that area lowered to 50 km/h from 90.

Morgan has since returned to work.

-files from Marlo Cameron




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