Pierre Ny St-Amand is a city bus driver in Laval Quebec who has been charged with 2 counts of murder for a crash that killed two young children. According to police reports Pierre Ny St-Amand was driving a city bus when he slammed into a daycare in Laval Quebec leaving 2 children dead and many more injuries. According to witnesses Pierre Ny St-Amand was driving between 30 to 40 kilometres per hour (approx 23 mph) when he slammed into the day care. Pierre Ny St-Amand would emerge from the bus completely naked and described as being out of his mind. Pierre Ny St-Amand has worked for the city for 10 years with no driving incidents.
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Two children are dead and six others were injured after a city bus crashed into a daycare on Wednesday morning in Laval, Que.
The driver, a 51-year-old man who was employed with the Société de transport de Laval (STL), was arrested and is facing reckless driving and homicide charges. Several sources told Radio-Canada that the suspect is Pierre Ny St-Amand.
Around 8:30 a.m., a bus from the Société de transport de Laval (STL) hit a daycare in the Sainte-Rose neighbourhood on Terrasse Dufferin, according to Laval police spokesperson Erika Landry. Landry said two children are confirmed dead and six others are injured and in hospital, but they are expected to survive.
The Garderie Éducative de Sainte-Rose is located on that street.
A neighbour who witnessed the crash said he and a group of parents tried to rescue children pinned under the bus and managed to subdued the driver, who was acting erratically.
According to Urgences-santé, 12 people needed medical care, eight others were transported to area hospitals.
Dr. Marc Girard, the director of professional services at Sainte-Justine Hospital, said at an afternoon news conference that the hospital received four victims, all preschool-age children, two boys and two girls.
The children were conscious when they arrived at the hospital, but were suffering from various traumatic injuries, Girard said. They are now recovering and in stable condition, he said.
Hamdi Ben Chaabane, who lives in the neighbourhood and witnessed the crash, said the bus was travelling 30 or 40 kilometres per hour when it struck the daycare.
“From what I saw, it wasn’t an accident,” he said.
After the bus struck the daycare, the driver emerged and began acting erratically.
“He opened the door. He took off all his clothes. He was totally naked,” Ben Chaabane said. “We don’t know why he did that. We dove on him. We tried to subdue him.”
He described the driver as being “in another world.”
“It was a nightmare. It’s horrible. He didn’t stop yelling. He wasn’t saying words,” Ben Chaabane said.
When the group tried to pry children out from underneath the bus, Ben Chaabane said they reached one child, who was only lightly injured, but were unable to reach a girl who was stuck deeper beneath rubble.
He said they continued trying to reach the trapped children until firefighters arrived and told them to leave because the roof of the daycare was caving in.
According to the Stéphane Boyer, the mayor of Laval, the person who was arrested has worked for the STL for 10 years but didn’t have any prior incidents on his record.
“There is a hypothesis that this was an intentional act but it will have to be confirmed by the investigation,” Boyer said, adding that it was unclear if the suspect had any connection to the daycare.
“It’s chaos,” said Julia Moreno, a mother whose child was in the daycare when the bus struck it. “There are injured children. It’s terrible.”
Nathalie Vaillancourt, another mother whose child was inside, said the bus destroyed the front facade of the daycare. Both mothers said their children were unscathed.
City buses don’t normally drive past the daycare, which is on a quiet side street, with no STL bus stops.
Urgences-santé dispatched seven ambulances, a “tactical medical vehicle” — which responds to unusual medical situations, often alongside police — and a rapid response team.
“It’s terrible what happened this morning in Laval,” Premier François Legault told a group of reporters at the National Assembly. “All my thoughts are with the children, with the parents and with the employees.”
Legault said Public Security Minister François Bonnardel, Family Minister Suzanne Roy and Christopher Skeete, the MNA for the Sainte-Rose riding, will be in Laval to assess the situation.
Laval’s mayor said psychologists would be available for those affected.
“It’s a tragic act,” Boyer said. “Obviously there are lots of parents right now wondering if their child was affected. I really want to be there for the families, show support.”
The STL said in a statement it was devastated by the “tragedy in Laval.”
“Our hearts go out to the families and employees affected by this tragedy,” the statement said. “The Service de police de la Ville de Laval is currently conducting an investigation in which we are actively collaborating.”