CORNWALL – A crash between a Cornwall Transit community bus and a sport utility vehicle sent seven people to the Cornwall Community Hospital Wednesday.
Two paramedic rapid response vehicles, two ambulances, three fire trucks and Cornwall police were called to the intersection of First Street West and York Street around 12:20 p.m.
The force of the crash somehow flipped the SUV before it landed on its wheels. Large clumps of grass were wedged in the driver’s side of the truck.
The Cornwall Transit bus had extensive front-end damage.
Both vehicles ended up on the northeast corner of the intersection.
By somewhat of a miracle, there was no serious injuries as the people were taken to hospital by ambulance to be checked over.
Five of the six people on the bus were treated as well as two people in the SUV.
Firefighters had to use the Jaws of Life to free the woman in the passenger seat of the Hyundai Tuscon.
Cornwall police Sgt. Dave MacLean credits the side curtain airbags in the Tucson for saving its two occupants from serious injury.
“It would have been a different story…(they) would have taken the brunt of it (the crash),” MacLean told Cornwall Newswatch.
Cornwall Transit Manager Len Tapp told CNW the community bus had six passengers on board and was part of a fixed route to nursing and long term care homes and medical facilities.
A Handi-Transit bus – which the city has 10 units – will fill the void for the community bus in the meantime.
Neighbours say the intersection has a number of problems, including stop signs that are above the driver’s line-of-sight and parking on the west side of York Street, south of First, which makes it difficult for First Street drivers (First Street is one-way going east) to get through the intersection.
“It says no parking. A lot of times they park right up to the corner and it makes that corner bad, you can’t see around them,” said First Street resident Thorald Ezard.
“It’s been reported to the city, I don’t know how many times. They just don’t want to do nothing about it,” Ezard said.
Ezard explained that First Street drivers will try to bolt from the intersection in order to catch the green light at Augustus Street. “They’ll spin their tires and try to get that green light on Augustus. It’s a real speedway in here.”
He would like to see a four-way stop at York and First Streets. “That would clear this corner up.”
Another woman also criticized bylaw enforcement for being selective with parking enforcement along York Street.