Four-way stop planned for intersection where bus driver and OPP officer killed
The rural Oxford County intersection where an OPP officer and a school bus driver were killed Monday was less than a month away from becoming a four-way stop when the deadly crash happened, according to the county.
Neighbours say the corner of Highway 59 and Oxford County Road 33 is well known for being dangerous.
“It’s happened far too often, honestly,” said Bob Hart, who lives and works nearby. “There’s been a lot of accidents at this intersection.”
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He says just last week, there was another serious crash at the same location.
Hart saw emergency services rushing to a collision there Monday morning.
Police say an unmarked police cruiser and a school bus collided at the intersection shortly before 7 a.m. on Monday. Both drivers were killed. The officer has been identified as 35-year-old Det. Const. Steven Tourangeau. The name of the bus driver has not been released.
There were no students on the bus or passengers in either vehicle.
London police are investigating the crash. They say the early stages of the investigation show the unmarked police car was driving eastbound on Oxford Road 33 and collided with the school bus, which was traveling northbound.
“The OPP, when they discovered a member of the OPP was involved in the collision, they notified the SIU. The SIU decided not to invoke their mandate. The OPP contacted the London Police Service and asked if we would provide assistance to the investigation by providing some oversight,” a spokesperson for London police told CTV News at the scene.
While the circumstances of Monday’s crash are not clear, Hart says he frequently sees drivers sail though the intersection.
“The traffic that is travelling eastwards, they’re on a fairly long stretch, maybe 10 km, without a stop sign, and they come over a hill and the stop sign is shortly after cresting the hill,” Hart said.
“I have seen them go across the highway a number of times – different cars – without even slowing down. I’m sure they are not doing it on purpose, just somehow missing the stop sign.”
During this year’s budget process, Oxford Country approved safety improvements at the intersection, including changing it from a two-way stop to a four-way stop, reducing the speed limit to 60 km/h approaching the corner, and adding rumble strips, electronic speed feedback signs and overhead flashing red lights.
The improvements are set to be implemented in June, a spokesperson for Oxford County said in an email. They follow the installation of flashing red lights at the stop signs in January.