NEWS

Truck driver in deadly TTC crash properly licensed, boss says

08/14/2013 12:39 EDT | Updated 10/14/2013 05:12 EDT
The driver of a cube van that crashed into a Toronto transit bus on the city's northern limit yesterday, killing a 52-year-old passenger and injuring a dozen others, had been with his company for several years and was properly licensed, according to his boss.

Questions have been raised about the driver's actions in the lead-up to the crash, with one witness saying he saw the man talking on a cellphone as his vehicle veered into the oncoming lanes on Steeles Avenue, hopped the curb and plowed into the passenger side of the TTC bus as it was idling at a stop.

The resulting accident killed a woman who police identified as a passenger about to disembark. A dozen other people were taken to hospital, including one person with life-threatening injuries, who has since improved to stable condition, and two more with serious injuries.

The company operating the van, Wilby Commercial Ltd., imports and distributes snack foods from the Philippines.

The president told CBC News his driver had the right licence and insurance for the cube van he was operating. The driver has been with the company for "a few years," Wilby Commercial's Willie Lao said.

The crash occurred about 6.5 kilometres from Wilby Commercial's offices in Markham, just north of Toronto.

The van was heading eastbound on Steeles and appeared to be trying to turn left onto Middlefield Road when it veered into the westbound lanes.

Police were interviewing several people who witnessed the crash, and accident-reconstruction experts were attempting to piece together the sequence of events.

On Wednesday, family of the victim were at the scene to place flowers and mourn their loss.

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