One woman was killed and at least 13 others were injured after a crash involving a TTC bus in east Toronto this morning.
Police said the crash involving three vehicles happened just after 11:30 a.m. near the intersection of Middlefield Road and Steeles Avenue. A cube van could be seen tangled with the bus in the wreckage.
Police confirmed the woman killed was a passenger waiting to exit the bus, and that the bus was stationary when the collision happened.
Karan Shetti was a passenger in a vehicle that was parked beside the TTC bus.
He said he witnessed the driver of the truck on his cellphone moments before the fatal collision.
“I saw him in the intersection on the phone,” Shetti said. “And I went behind [the truck] and he was still on the phone and there was a lady beneath the truck.
“I don’t know how I’m going to cope with this.”
Emergency Medical Services said 13 people were taken to hospital with minor injuries.
TTC spokesman Brad Ross said via Twitter that the bus operator was removed from the crash using the Jaws of Life and taken to hospital as a precaution, but was OK.
On Twitter, TTC chair Karen Stintz called the crash “very sad news.”
Andy Byford, the TTC’s chief executive officer, told reporters at the scene that the crash was “a very serious and shocking incident.”
Byford said he has been told that there were a number of witnesses to the crash, which should help police determine the sequence of events.
“I think we’ll get to the bottom of what happened very quickly,” he said.
Byford said the bus driver was put into a neck brace. His wife had been notified about what had happened and was en route to hospital.
“My understanding is that he’s been with us for six years,” said Byford, who declined to identify the driver.
There were five fire trucks on scene and power lines were down. The crash has caused a power outage that as of 12:30 p.m. affecting about 5,000 customers.
It was expected that power would be restored by 2 p.m.
Police said the intersection would be closed to traffic for the next few hours.
Two years ago, a passenger died when a TTC bus collided with a flatbed truck on Lawrence Avenue East.
The bus driver in that August 2011 crash was later charged with criminal negligence causing death and possession of cannabis.
The victim’s family later filed a $4.25-million lawsuit against the TTC.
Floating telephone phone. Bus crash at Middlefield and Steeles. pic.twitter.com/wX1nPvTq4q— Allan Rajadurai (@AllanRaja) August 13, 2013