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Updated: Fri, 16 Aug 2013 20:26:51 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Van driver charged in crash that killed TTC passenger



Van driver charged in crash that killed TTC passenger

The driver of a van that slammed into a TTC bus on Tuesday, killing a female passenger, has been charged with a half-dozen criminal offences.

Toronto police announced Friday that Vicente Bacobe Arbis, 40, of Toronto, was arrested and charged with:

- Criminal negligence causing death.

- Two counts of criminal negligence cause bodily harm.

- Dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death.

- Two counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm.

- Dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

He appeared in court Friday, looking sullen during the hearing while listening through a Tagalog interpreter, and was released on $50,000 bail. His conditions include an order to surrender his passport and a prohibition on driving.

In the brief hearing, the court heard that Arbis emigrated from the Philippines to Canada four years ago and has a wife and three children. He was described as a hard-working family man whose parents recently came to Canada.

News of the charges is a quick turnabout for police. As recently as Thursday, Const. Clint Stibbe of the Toronto police traffic services unit had said investigators were "nowhere near" pressing charges and had a lot of information, including witness statements and video footage, to sort through.

The crash happened when a cube van travelling eastbound on Steeles Avenue plowed into the idling bus near the intersection of Middlefield Road, killing 52-year-old Ranjana Kanagasabapathy as she was boarding the bus and sending 12 others to hospital.

Kanagasabapathy was married with two children and a granddaughter. She was on her way to work at the time.

Questions have been raised about the cube van driver's actions in the lead-up to the crash. One witness said he saw the man talking on a cellphone, which police have not confirmed.

The company operating the van, Wilby Commercial Ltd., imports and distributes snack foods from the Philippines. Its offices are located about 6.5 kilometres west of the crash site.

The driver has been with the company for several years, president Willie Lao told CBC News earlier this week.

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Toronto Police Service: Van driver charged in crash

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