Questions swirl about Laval, Que. bus accident. Here’s what we know so far

WARNING: This article contains disturbing details.

Authorities say a bus crash at a daycare center in Laval on Wednesday was a premeditated act, but police say they don’t yet know what motivated him.

Two children are dead. Six others were hospitalized yesterday, two of whom have since been discharged. None of the children have been identified by authorities.

The event has shocked people across Quebec as they try to make sense of what happened and why.

Here’s what we know so far about the incident and the man arrested at the scene:

The incident

  • The bus hit the Garderie Éducative de Sainte-Rose daycare center around 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, according to Laval police.

  • The day-care center is on the Dufferin terrace, at the end of a cul-de-sac with a roundabout and a bus stop. The day care center is set back about 40m from the street.

  • The city bus was one of them Société de transport de Laval (STL) Fleet. The impact shattered the outside wall of the daycare center, threatening to collapse parts of the roof.

  • Numerous police cars, ambulances and firefighters arrived at the scene within minutes.

  • The police arrested the alleged driver, who had been overpowered by the parents.

  • Firefighters tried to free children trapped under the rubble.

  • Paramedics took seven children to local hospitals, one of whom later died. Another child died on the spot.

  • Officials towed the bus out of the daycare center late Wednesday night. Police are treating the area as a crime scene.

Ivanoh Demers/Radio Canada

Ivanoh Demers/Radio Canada

The suspect

  • A neighbor said the driver of the bus got out of the vehicle after the accident and began ripping his clothes off and making incoherent screams.

  • Police identified him as Pierre Ny St-Amand, 51.

  • Laval Mayor Stéphane Boyer said St-Amand had been an STL employee for about 10 years.

  • According to Radio-Canada, he drove the 151 bus, which runs between the Côte-Vertu metro station in Montreal and the Sainte-Rose neighborhood in Laval, stopping near the daycare. According to STL, he was working on Wednesday morning.

  • The Association of Private Daycare Centers in Quebec told Radio-Canada that there was no known connection between the suspect and the daycare center.

  • Lionel Carmant, the minister responsible for social services, said St-Amand is not on a waiting list to receive mental health services.

Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Investigations and Trials

  • St-Amand faces nine charges including two counts of first-degree murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.

  • He appeared in court via video link from a hospital bed at Montreal’s Sacré-Cœur Hospital on Wednesday.

  • The appearance was delayed as officers in the room struggled to control St-Amand. He nodded during his appearance, and a doctor required he undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine his “dangerousness,” but the judge didn’t order one.

  • Crown prosecutors and the defense agreed he was fit enough to continue with the trial.

  • He is next scheduled to appear in court on February 17.

  • Neighbors described St-Amand as quiet and normal.

  • Laval Police said they are still investigating and do not know the motive behind the crash.

CLOCK | Parents explain ‘terrible’ scene after accident:


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