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The Globe and Mail

Bus driver in fatal TTC crash had drugs on him, police allege

Toronto Police at the scene of a collision involving a TTC bus on Lawrence Avenue at Don Valley Parkway, Toronto August 30, 2011.

Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail/Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

Toronto Police Traffic Services are to meet with the Crown next Wednesday to discuss whether to lay charges against the driver of the TTC bus involved in a fatal crash Tuesday, who they allege had marijuana in his possession.

Detective Carl Andersen would not comment on the nature of the charges or whether the bus driver or the driver of the truck would be charged, but he said police found drugs – suspected to be marijuana – within the belongings of the bus driver several hours after the crash.

In a statement released late afternoon Thursday, the TTC said it "found no evidence of impairment on the part of the operator."

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Shortly after 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, the westbound bus was travelling behind a crane truck in the third lane from the left on Lawrence Avenue East as the road approaches the Don Valley Parkway. The truck slowed down for traffic, police said, and the bus swerved to the left at the last moment, smashing into the rear of the truck and sending it right off the road into a guard rail.

Toronto woman Jadranka Petrova, 43, who was seated on the left side of the bus, just behind the rear doors, was killed.

A grey Honda Accord was hit by debris created during the collision, police added.

According to Det. Andersen, there were 15 people on the bus; six were taken by ambulance to Sunnybrook, a regional trauma care centre, where the majority were treated for neck and facial injuries like broken noses and knocked-out teeth; three were taken to North York General; and five, including the driver, were treated at the scene by EMS and released shortly thereafter.

Neither the crane-truck driver nor the Honda driver were injured, Det. Andersen added.

Although Det. Andersen also declined to release the names of the drivers involved in the crash, he did provide the following details: the bus driver is male, age 52, and from the Scarborough area; the Honda driver is male, age 48, and from Richmond; and the crane truck driver is male, age 41, and from Oshawa.

All three drivers have been interviewed by police, Det. Andersen said, and police are actively looking for witnesses.

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In their statement, the TTC said it began disciplinary proceedings against the bus driver immediately after the collision and the man was "relieved of duty."

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