The city is working with Occupational Health and Safety on the investigation of the second deadly crash involving an ETS bus and a pedestrian. On Saturday, 13 year old Mariama Sillah, was killed in a cross walk in north Edmonton. That tragedy follows the October 4th death of 83 year old Mary Lynch who died near West Edmonton Mall under similar circumstances.
City manager Linda Cochrane did not have a lot to say when calling reporters together outside her City Hall office Monday afternoon. She said a lot of details need to be reviewed before the city can act on any remedies.
“What we’re contemplating, because this is the second incident in a short period of time is that with the help of Occupational Health and Safety we will do a complete review on our own, to see if there’s anything we can learn that we might not have known. If there is anything we will put into effect any practices that we need to. That is consistent with how we generally operate. But we’ll put an emphasis on it, based on these incidents.”
The union has mentioned a blind spot for the driver from the external rear view mirror that comes into effect, especially on left turns. “The blind spot issue is prevalent in all vehicles,” said deputy city manager Doug Jones who over sees operations for the city, including transit.
“We train our drivers to deal with blind spots, just as we train young drivers when they get their drivers’ licence.”
Jones couldn’t say if these two fatalities will have any effect on a new fleet of buses the city is in the midst of buying.
“The bus order that’s currently out, we are looking at all options. It is an industry issue and we’ll be looking for the manufacturers to see what they can do. What ever is available, we’ll take advantage of it but it’s not to say it’s going to be available for immediate manufacturers.”
“I can tell you administration will be looking at the left-turn issue,” said Coun. Dave Loken who has the lead on traffic safety issues for city council. “The union has raised it. I’ve raised it with the Canadian Urban Transit Association. I have not received any information back from them as to whether this is an issue anywhere else.”
“I don’t really want to comment too much on an on-going investigation except that it’s a terrible tragedy and we’re all feeling it around here.”
Other questions being raised include if drivers should make it a practice of honking the horn as they make a left-hand turn, or if a speaker system should be attached to the bus’s exterior to alert pedestrians.
Edmonton police have not released word on any possible charges.