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OTTAWA – The Ottawa bus driver charged in the fatal Westboro bus crash in 2019 has been found not guilty on all counts.

Aissatou Diallo, 44, faced three counts of dangerous driving causing death and 35 counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm in connection with the accident more than two years ago and half.

A judge delivered his verdict on Wednesday morning, calling the case “tragic”.

“The degree of human pain and loss suffered by so many people has not escaped my notice,” Justice Matthew Webber said in his ruling. “However, to condemn Ms. Diallo would be casting the net far too wide.”

Three people died and nearly two dozen others were injured when the OC Transpo double-decker bus Diallo was driving crashed into the overhanging shelter of the Westboro bus station.

Diallo’s lawyers argued that there were a number of factors that led to the crash, including the lane marks on the road left by construction that misled her. Her lawyer said on Wednesday that she should never have been charged.

“This is a case where charges should never have been laid,” his lawyer Solomon Friedman told reporters after the verdict. “She did her best under incredibly difficult circumstances,” he said.

“All you have to do is watch the video. See the blinding sun, see the lights, see the road markings that should have been cleared properly but never were… when you take that from Along with the gutter filled with ice and snow by the side of the road, Mrs. Diallo didn’t stand a chance. “

Bruce Tomlinson, 56, Judy Booth, 57, and Anja Van Beek, 65, were killed in the crash.

Family members of Tomlinson and Booth were in the courtroom for the verdict.

Booth’s daughter burst into tears when the not guilty verdict was read.

Mayor Jim Watson said the verdict will be hard for some people to hear.

“We may not like the decision, but we have to support it,” he said. “It has obviously been stressful for the ride itself, as you can well imagine… but our first thoughts are of course with the family and friends of the three people who lost their lives on that tragic day.”

More soon…

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