On Tuesday evening, at approximately 5 p.m. a minibus belonging to the Societé de transport de Sherbrooke (STS) fatally struck a pedestrian crossing McManamy Street, between la Rue de la Princesse and Worthington Street. STS President Marc Denault and Brompton Councillor Catherine Boileau, alongside other STS and municipal officials, spoke to reporters at a press conference Wednesday morning, extending their sympathies to the family of the victim, updating the public about the next steps to be taken, and reminding people of the danger posed by large vehicles on the road.
“This situation leaves no one indifferent and shakes the entire STS staff,” says the communiqué handed to reporters by STS at the conference. "Our hearts go out to the family of the deceased in this difficult ordeal, and we send them our most sincere condolences,” said STS President Denault. The STS employee driving the bus is a member of the agency’s maintenance crew and was doing a road test of an out-of-service bus when the accident occurred.
No foul play is suspected of the driver at this time, however, STS is awaiting the results of an investigation by the Sherbrooke Police Service (SPS). A press release by SPS, which is still in its early stages of investigating, notes that “at first glance, no criminal element seems to be involved”. The victim, 69-year-old Denis Payette, was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Councilor Boileau stated that the city would be evaluating safety and security measures in place at the site of the accident, adding that pedestrian safety is taken seriously by the city of Sherbrooke. She also reminded motorists in general to maintain eye contact with the road ahead.
“Through this sad event, our thoughts are also directed towards our employee, a member of the maintenance team,” says Patrick Dobson, directeur général of STS. According to the SPS release, the employee was found in a state of nervous shock after the accident.
The accident was during dusk when visibility is poor. “We ask people to be aware and to be [visible] when they're crossing the street,” added Denault, “our drivers are driving about 6.7 million kilometres per year, you see those are professional drivers and we want to just send a message. Those are huge vehicles.”
A resource person is available on-site for STS employees, in order to help those who are suffering from nervous shock.