A city bus crashed into a day care center north of Montreal on Wednesday, killing two children and sending six children to the hospital, officials said. The bus driver was arrested and charged with murder and negligent driving.
Police set up a large cordon around the day care building in Laval, Quebec, and panicked parents who ran to the center were sent to a nearby elementary school. Dozens of police and emergency vehicles lined the blocked road leading to the day care.
Laval police spokeswoman Erika Landry identified the driver as a 51-year-old employee, but did not name him. Laval Mayor Stéphane Boyer said the driver had worked for the Société de Transport de Laval for about 10 years and had no incidents recorded in his file.
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“There is a theory that it was an intentional act, but that has yet to be confirmed by the investigation,” Boyer said. “As of now, we don’t know the motive,” Landry said.
A man who lives near the day care said that he arrived at the accident scene and that he and his three parents overpowered the driver, who he said stepped out of the bus, stripped off all of his clothes and started yelling. Started.
“The first thing he did after opening the bus door was take off all his clothes. …. He was just screaming; no words came out of his mouth,” Hamdi Benchabane said.
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The day care is located at the end of a driveway off a cul-de-sac. There is a bus stop at the cul-de-sac, but the driver would have had to pull off the road and onto a long driveway to hit the building.
Benchabane said that he and others had to beat the driver to bring him under control before police could take the man into custody. The driver, he said, “was in a different world.”
Benchabane said he was able to help pull one child from the day care, adding that he and others tried to save a second child before firefighters ordered them to leave because the roof was about to collapse. There was danger of falling to pieces.
“It was a nightmare, I can’t believe it,” he said of what he saw. “it was horrible.”
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Aerial news footage from the scene shows the bus crashed in front of the day care center. The building is located at the end of a driveway, and the bus driver would have had to swerve off the road to hit it.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his office was “following the situation closely.”
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