The City of Kelowna’s reliance on bus service is not likely to be replaced with other forms of mass transit such a streetcars or light rail over the next 20 years, according to a new city staff future transportation planning report. (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 6:57 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.

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

“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,” Lovell 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.

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

“We’re supporting Kelowna RCMP during the investigation. No one from the public was injured, however, this could have been tragic. Absolutely tragic.”

The bus driver was allegedly assaulted while travelling on Rutland Road near the Rutland exchange Friday night around 8 p.m. before the bus crashed.

READ MORE: Possible assault to bus driver in Kelowna

During the second assault, a driver was punched in the head while trying to break up a dispute between two passengers.

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.

READ MORE: Four B.C. students sent to hospital after school bus crash

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READ MORE: Police release driver after three killed, 23 hurt in Ottawa bus crash

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