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All six victims of Ottawa bus crash now ID’d

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Megan Gillis, QMI Agency

Sep 19, 2013

, Last Updated: 6:41 PM ET

OTTAWA – Flowers lay near the tracks Thursday as police identified all six people who died after a city bus crashed into a train and investigators recovered clues to what happened.

Police identified the victims of the crash as Michael Bleakney, 57, Connor Boyd, 21, Karen Krzyzewski, 53, Kyle Nash, 21, Rob More, 35, and Dave Woodard, 45.

Woodard was driving the bus that passengers and witnesses said went through the safety barriers and flashing lights to strike the VIA Rail train at a busy Transitway crossing.

But the 11 Transportation Safety Board investigators now assigned to the crash won’t jump to any conclusions, spokeswoman Julie Leroux said.

“Right now, we investigate all the possibilities,” she said.

“We haven’t ruled out anything yet. We are going to go through all the information we have and see where the investigation will lead us.”

Investigators have started interviewing passengers and witnesses, finished examining the train and removed the tires of the bus, which will now be taken to their lab.

Event data recorders — also known as the black boxes — have been recovered from the signals at the level crossing, train and bus.

Investigators hope the device from the bus will provide them with information including the vehicle’s speed and whether it braked.

“Our investigators try to keep the family and loved ones aware of every step of the investigation,” Leroux said.

Of the 37 people rushed to hospital, one remained in stable condition at the Ottawa Hospital Thursday and three others were recovering from orthopaedic surgery at the Queensway Carleton Hospital.

VIA Rail has yet to resume train service between Ottawa and Toronto and is transporting passengers by bus.

OC Transpo warns there could be delays in Barrhaven because of the crash investigation.

Eight routes are affected by the probe because they use the Transitway.

The routes will detour around the Transitway intersection at the Via tracks and use Woodroffe Ave. instead.

Employee assistance programs are available to Transpo employees and general manager John Manconi said some staff have requested time off with management’s full support.

The business of City Hall resumed Thursday morning with a meeting by the committee that oversees most 911 services. Bay Coun. Mark Taylor, chairman of the committee, called for a moment of silence.

However, Mayor Jim Watson cancelled a major speech on Monday on the future of transportation in Ottawa.

The city also announced it was delaying next week’s release of a draft transportation master plan, which is a key update from the last document approved in 2008.

Watson wrote to council, “The next few weeks will be a time of mourning for many in our city.”

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– With files from Jon Willing and Tony Caldwell