We’re learning more from Edmonton police about the deadly pedestrian hit-and-run Saturday night in north Edmonton.
EPS now says it was a 13-year-old girl who was killed in a marked crosswalk on 137 Avenue at 40 Street around 7:40pm.
Disturbingly, investigators say it was an Edmonton Transit bus that struck the teen, dragging her a short distance while making a left-hand turn onto 137 Avenue from 40 Street. The girl was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police believe the driver didn’t know the teen had been hit. The bus left the scene, and was tracked down at Coliseum Station a few hours later.
Neither speed or alcohol are believed to be factors in Edmonton’s 24th traffic death of 2016.
This is the second death of a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk involving an ETS bus. In October, a senior was struck and killed on 87 Avenue in front of West Edmonton Mall. The bus driver’s union blamed a blind spot created by side-mirrors for the collision.
The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 569 has issued the following statement from president Steve Bradshaw on this latest crash:
On behalf of the membership of the Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 569, I want to express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the victim of Saturday’s bus/pedestrian collision.
While we know that no amount of sympathy can make up for this tragic loss, we hope that some comfort comes from our deep feelings of commiseration.
I further want to express our deep solidarity and support for the bus operator, who is heavily traumatized by this tragedy. We are reaching out to provide our unqualified support.
Though Bradshaw realizes there is little anyone can say to ease their pain, he felt it was important to send condolences to the girl’s family.
“This is a terrible tragedy. It’s not nice for anyone.” he said. “We don’t believe that our sympathies are going to solve anything, but we do hope they give a bit of comfort.”
The City of Edmonton echoed those sentiments in an emailed statement from City Manager Linda Cochrane and Deputy City Manager of City Operations, Doug Jones:
On behalf of the City of Edmonton, we offer our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the young pedestrian involved in a fatal collision last night. This is a tragic event for everyone. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them.
The safety of passengers, pedestrians and other drivers is the top priority for Edmonton Transit System and City Operations. We are deeply concerned about this incident. The City of Edmonton will continue to work with Edmonton Police Service on this investigation. Internally, we will promptly launch a full operational review and take action to minimize the potential for any future tragic event.
While police and ETS look into the cause of the crash, Bradshaw said the Union would stand with the driver.
“This is a person with a twenty-year record with Edmonton Transit, with just an absolutely clean file. So this this must be very, very difficult for that person.”
Bradshaw added the Union will be conducting its own investigation. He said it’s too soon to say whether the blind spot in the October crash played any role in this latest collision. (ms, Global News)