The widow of an Ottawa bus driver killed in a collision with a Via train says something must have gone wrong with the bus, or the train crossing, to cause the crash that killed six people.
Terry Woodard told CBC's Ottawa Morning radio program Thursday morning that her husband, 45-year-old bus driver Dave Woodard, was in “very, very” good health, loved his job and was a “very careful” driver.
Mr. Woodard was driving the bus when it drove through a barrier at a railway crossing, striking a Via Rail train Wednesday morning. He was among the dead.
“Something had to go wrong,” Ms. Woodard, 50, told the CBC. “... If he went through the barriers, it's something. Either something is wrong with the brakes, he couldn't stop, the bus was too heavy, I don't know. I don't want to assume, but something had to go wrong. There's no way he went through the barriers for no reason. Either he didn't see the train, didn't see the lights or the barriers weren't down in time.”
The couple had been together 25 years, and have an 18-year-old daughter. Ms. Woodard says her daughter is “a wreck, just like everybody else,” but that the family has support from friends and relatives.
Weeping, Ms. Woodard told the radio show about her husband. “He's my prince, the greatest man ever, the greatest father, step-dad, grandpa. He always put a smile on my face after 25 years we were together,” she said, adding she'll remember “his big smile, his big heart and how he was willing to help everybody else, but him.”
Ms. Woodard's comments echo those made in a Facebook post that was published overnight to an account shared with her husband. “I don't know what to say...I want him back so much...MISS you BABY...be always in my prayers in my mind, but most of all in my heart....life is not the same without you here...” reads the note posted at about 1:30 a.m.
Ottawa police said Thursday morning that all six victims, including Mr. Woodard, have now been positively identified. The other victims are Michael Bleakney, 57, Connor Boyd, 21, Karen Krzyzewski, 53, Kyle Nash, 21, and Rob More, 35. Carleton University has confirmed that Mr. Nash and Mr. Boyd were students.
Mr. Woodard had been with OC Transpo for nearly 10 years, and had a good record, union president Craig Watson said.
“He was a good employee. Always helpful and with a smile on his face,” he said.