Michael Ford (post until Oct. 31/19)
Personal Injury

Charges laid against TTC bus driver

News that charges have been laid against a TTC bus driver in connection with the December hit-and-run death of a 14-year-old girl further highlights the transit commission’s role in ensuring the safety of not only its passengers, but anyone in its path, says Toronto critical injury lawyer John McLeish.

Dhanbir Shergill, 28, of Bowmanville has been charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death and failing to remain at the scene of a collision, reports the Toronto Star.

Amaria Diljohn, says the Star, was reportedly crossing Neilson Rd. near Finch Ave. E. in Scarborough on Dec. 19 when a TTC bus hit her. She was pronounced dead on scene.

According to police, the driver did not remain at the scene of the collision but turned himself in soon afterward, says the article.

“Through tragic deaths like 14-year-old Amaria Diljohn’s we have learned firsthand how crucial it is for TTC operators to drive responsibly. The impact on the lives of family members who have lost a loved one or to the life of an injured person in such an accident is devastating,” McLeish, partner with McLeish Orlando LLP, tells AdvocateDaily.com.

Days after the collision, the TTC said it would fast-track a review of bus and streetcar operator recruitment, training and recertification, says the Star.

“The TTC’s review of driver recruitment, training, recertification and monitoring programs – sped up in the days following Amaria’s death – is overdue,” says McLeish, who is not acting in the case. “New and immediate strategies must be implemented to protect users of the TTC and other drivers and pedestrians who are likely to cross paths with transit vehicles.”

McLeish says onboard cameras, called dashcams, may be the “silent witness” the TTC needs to ensure its drivers are held accountable for their actions.

GO Transit and the cities of Calgary, Winnipeg and Philadelphia have adopted the use of dashcams in their transit buses and streetcars, says McLeish.

“But the implementation of these new strategies comes too late for Amaria and the many other victims who have been injured or killed as a result of the conduct of a TTC driver,” he says.

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