Parents returned Thursday to a Montreal-area daycare center where two children were killed when a bus crashed into a building, they stayed to mourn and remember the difficult moments they witnessed Was.
André Beaudoin, the father of a 2-year-old boy who attends the center in Laval, said he had to push through rubble on Wednesday to help remove injured children from under a bus that tore off the front of the building Was.
“I managed to get four out; the last girl … her head was really smashed in,” he said.
Canada bus hits daycare center north of Montreal, killing two children, six hospitalized
Beaudoin said she had parked to drop off her son when she saw a city bus barrel into the daycare. He said he ran into the building, and although most of the children had fled, “heard the screams” of those still trapped.
Two children aged 4 died and six are hospitalised. Pierre N. Saint-Amand, a 51-year-old driver with the Laval Transit Corporation, was arrested at the scene and later charged with two counts of first-degree murder as well as seven other charges, including attempted murder and aggravated assault .
Large sheets of plywood cover the damaged wall on Thursday, next to a cheerful sign with pink letters bearing the center’s name, GARDENS EDUCATIONAL STE-ROSE. Piles of debris from the damaged roof and interior lay in the snow.
People, many in tears, stopped to pay their respects and add flowers and stuffed toys to a growing memorial in a snowbank outside the center where two 4-year-olds died in the incident.
Montreal health officials said two of the six children had been released from hospital, while four were still being treated.
Montreal’s Saint-Justine Children’s Hospital said in a statement that the two children who survived were in “favorable” health. The two children remained at Laval Hospital and doctors said their lives were not in danger.
Pierre Neu Saint-Amand, a 51-year-old driver with the Laval Transit Corporation, was arrested at the scene on Wednesday. He faces two counts of first-degree murder as well as seven other charges, including attempted murder and aggravated assault.
Authorities said Thursday they are still trying to understand what might have caused someone to drive the bus into the daycare center.
“The motive is still unclear,” Public Security Minister François Bonnardel told reporters in Quebec City.
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Asked what officers could have done to prevent the incident, Bonnardel said: “Nobody can predict an incident like this. Nobody can predict that someone wakes up in the morning, gets off the bus and decides to hit the daycare with a bus.” ,
Witnesses said the driver had fainted after exiting the bus, with his clothes torn and screaming as several people pinned him to the ground until police arrived.
Late Wednesday, a police cruiser and two officers were stationed outside Saint-Amand’s home on a quiet suburban street about six miles from the daycare center. Several neighbors described him as a calm, pleasant father of two young girls.
One man, Thanh-Rai Tran, said that his family met with the Saint-Amand family a few times a year, adding that their wives sometimes helped each other pick up or drop off the children. He said that Saint-Amand had never shown signs of distress.
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Lionel Carment, the government minister responsible for social services, told reporters in Quebec City that regional health officials in Laval found no evidence that Saint-Armand had received care for mental health issues.
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