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17 injured in streetcar, bus crash

by Rob Lamberti

When a TTC streetcar loaded with passengers, many of them kids, smashed into a Greyhound bus in Regent Park a week before Christmas, the outcome could have been tragic.

But thanks to a miracle on Dundas St., the more than 30 people involved in the horrific Thursday afternoon crash are expected to be okay.

“I guess the bus had gone through the intersection and the streetcar attempted to stop to avoid colliding with the bus,” Sgt. Christopher Tracey said at the accident scene after more than a dozen people were transported to hospital.

“Unfortunately, the streetcar ended up colliding with the rear of the bus,” he added.

Regent Park residents said it felt as though their entire neighbourhood shook when the two massive vehicles collided around 3 p.m.

It’s believed the streetcar was travelling east on Dundas St. when it somehow broadsided the coach bus as it headed north up River St.

The thunderous impact was hard enough to spin the bus 90 degrees, leaving it facing westbound in the intersection, and the streetcar was knocked right out of the tracks.

Bystanders said they heard kids screaming and crying. And some youngsters crawled out through windows of the streetcar because the doors wouldn’t open.

There were about 30 passengers on the streetcar and the bus had only one occupant, the driver, Tracey said.

In all, 17 people were taken to hospital, including four children.

“But all of the injuries are considered non-life-threatening,” Tracey said.

The two drivers, both men, were the most seriously hurt, he said. The streetcar driver hurt his hip and the bus driver suffered a shoulder injury.

Tracey said it was too soon to say if one of the vehicles drove through a red light or even who was at fault.

The intersection remained closed for hours as police investigated.

No charges were immediately laid.