Photo: Capital News files

Photo: Capital News files

‘Absolutely tragic’: Union president responds to alleged assaults of bus drivers in Kelowna

A minor bus crash was reported Friday night after the driver was allegedly assaulted

  • Mar. 26, 2019 7:30 a.m.

The president of the Amalgamated Transit Union in Kelowna has responded to two alleged assaults that happened to transit drivers over the weekend.

One driver was allegedly punched in the head, while another was sent to hospital after the bus crashed, Scott Lovell said.

“On the weekend we had two bus drivers heinously assaulted. These attacks have left us with a profound sense of disbelief, sadness and asking many questions,” he wrote in a Facebook statement.

“With the assault on Friday, our community got very lucky as the bus went in motion when the assault started, crossing a major street through traffic and crashing into a retaining wall about 100 yards down the road on the opposite side of the street.”

READ MORE: Possible assault to bus driver in Kelowna

“No one from the public was injured however this could have been tragic. Absolutely tragic.”

During the second assault, a driver was protecting a passenger from another passenger, before the driver was punched in the head, he said.

On the second assault, a driver was protecting a passenger from another passenger by asking the assailant to leave the bus because he was accosting that passenger and was punched in the head for it.

“An operator may have been assaulted,” said BC Transit director safety and emergency management John Palmer.

“We’re supporting Kelowna RCMP during the investigation.”

The bus driver was allegedly assaulted while travelling on Rutland Road near the Rutland exchange around 8 p.m. Friday night before the bus crashed. BC Transit said that the investigation will not impact bus services in Kelowna.

BC Emergency Health Services responded to the bus crash and said that one person was transported to the hospital.

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