Connor Boyd, 21, and Kyle Nash were on the OC Transpo Route 76 express bus to downtown Ottawa when it collided with passenger Train 51 heading to Toronto.
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The crash sheared off the front of the bus and left debris across the bus-only Transitway and along the railway in Barrhaven, a community in south Ottawa.
All the victims — five men and one woman between ages 21 and 57 — have been identified by Ottawa police. Also following the crash, more than 30 people were taken to hospital with injuries ranging from minor to severe.
All of the six victims’ families, including of bus driver Dave Woodard, have been notified, as well.
Rick Larabie was Boyd’s best friend and an acquaintance of Nash.
Larabie and his other friends gathered at Larabie’s house Wednesday after learning about their friends’ sudden deaths.
“I didn’t know what to do. I lost my best friend. We all lost our best friend and we lost two friends that day. It was probably one of the worst feelings I’ve ever felt in my life,” he told the CBC’s Kristy Nease.
Larabie said more friends were coming in from Toronto on Thursday to gather and grieve the loss of their two friends. Larabie said he know Connor better, though they were all classmates at John McCrae Secondary School in Barrhaven.
“Connor was a hilarious guy … he had a very infectious laugh to the point that my parents had a shorter curfew for me when he was over because his laugh would travel through the house,” Larabie said.
“He was big into alternate stuff like Dr. Who and some new alternate music. He was liked by pretty much everybody and he had a really good positive attitude.”
Boyd, who worked at McDonald’s, was an English major at Carleton University with plans to go to Newfoundland and Labrador for teachers college, Larabie added. Nash was studying for a degree in information technology and interactive multimedia and design.
Carleton University says grief counsellors are being made available for staff and students.