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Ottawa bus crash passenger wants to meet woman she helped rescue

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Graham Slaughter, CTVNews.ca with a report from CTV Ottawa’s Mike Arsalides


Published Thursday, January 17, 2019 7:25PM EST


Last Updated Thursday, January 17, 2019 11:23PM EST

A passenger who stayed behind to help a woman seriously injured in last week’s Ottawa bus crash says she’d like to meet the woman she rescued to give her a hug.

Karin Hohban was sitting on the upper floor of the double-decker bus Friday when it suddenly slammed into a transit shelter. The force of the collision killed three passengers and trapped Hohban beneath the crushed seats. She lost more than two litres of blood due to a major leg injury.

Moments after the crash, a stranger rushed to Hohban’s aid and used a scarf to stop her leg from bleeding, according to her husband, who credited the stranger with saving her life.

“She was literally bleeding to death,” AJ Yantha told CTV Ottawa on Thursday, hoping to find the rescuer. “We have to find her … she’s one of the heroes.”

That rescuer was Jessica Service, a civil servant with Public Safety Canada who reached out to CTV News after recognizing the story.

Service said she and another passenger saw the trapped woman and worked together to pull her to safety. Service’s husband had taken a First Aid class a few months earlier, and, thanks to their conversations, she knew that it was important to stop the flow of blood.

“I kept holding her hand and trying to keep her warm and telling her that she was a priority,” Service told CTVNews.ca on Thursday night.

Hohban is still in hospital in serious but stable condition. Service said she spent the last few days worrying and was relieved to learn that the woman she helped was OK.

“I would love to meet Karin,” Service told CTVNews.ca in an interview Thursday evening. “I was really hopeful that she was going to be okay. I didn’t know until the story broke.”

Service admitted that it’s been an emotional week, but that she plans to reach out to Hohban and her husband.

“I would love to give them a hug and just take one of those big deep breaths with them, because I can’t actually imagine what they’re going through right now.”

Three passengers died in Friday’s crash. Twenty-three others were injured, including two who were ejected from the bus.

Service was sitting near the stairs and suffered a minor concussion. She said she feels lucky to have been able to walk away from the crash.

“I picked a good seat that day,” she said.

As for being credited with saving someone’s life, Service said she and the fellow passenger simply followed “a very normal instinct.”

“Anything that was wrong with me could wait,” she said. “She was in trouble.”

The three victims have been identified as Bruce Thomlinson, Judy Booth and Anja Van Beek, all civil servants working for the federal government.

Many of the injured passengers suffered major injuries to their lower limbs, and some needed to undergo amputations, officials said.

Online fundraisers have been launched to help survivors. More than $40,000 has been raised to help Julie Davis, a woman from Kanata who lost her right leg. Davis remains in hospital.

Thousands of dollars have also been raised for Chester Wilson, who lost his right leg and may lose his left leg. So far, a crowdfunding campaign for Wilson has raised $44,000.

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List of Tourist Attractions Open Now in Ottawa

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With Ontario now in Step 3 of 2021 three-step plan for reopening, museums and other indoor attractions are allowed to reopen with capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity indoors and 75 per cent capacity outdoors.

Here is a list of Ottawa attractions you can visit starting July 16th.

Do remember to wear masks and buy tickets in advance.

Parliament Hill

Parliament’s Centre Block and Peace Tower are closed for renovation.

You can join for tours of the Senate of Canada Building (2 Rideau Street), House of Commons at West Block (111 Wellington Street) on Parliament Hill, and East Block at East Block (111 Wellington Street) on Parliament Hill.

When: Grounds open; guided tours of Parliament are suspended through the summer of 2021.
Where: 111 Wellington Street, Downtown Ottawa

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Ottawa performer leapfrogs from gymnastics to Broadway to TV

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A new AppleTV+ series set in a magical town that’s stuck in a neverending 1940s musical includes a pair of Ottawa siblings in the cast. 

Warren Yang and his sister, Ericka Hunter, play two of the singing, dancing residents of the village portrayed in Schmigadoon!, a small-screen series that takes its cues from classic musicals like Brigadoon, Wizard of Oz and Sound of Music, and skewers them with the offbeat comedic mastery of Saturday Night Live. 

In fact, you’ll recognize many of the names from SNL, starting with executive producer Lorne Michaels, creator of the late-night, live-comedy sketch show. Schmigadoon! also stars SNL cast member Cecily Strong and comedian Keegan-Michael Key, who hosted SNL in May. They play a New York couple who get lost on a hike and stumble into a strange town where everyone sings and dances. 

For Yang, a relative newcomer to show-biz, the series marks his television debut. For Hunter, the younger of his two older sisters, it’s the latest in a career path that began with dance lessons as a child more than 30 years ago. She attended Canterbury High School, Ottawa’s arts-focused secondary school. 

“Her dream was always to perform,” said Yang, 34, in an interview. “But that was never the path I thought was an option for me.” 

While his sister studied dance, Yang did gymnastics. He was an elite gymnast throughout his youth, ultimately leaving Merivale High School at 16 to train in Montreal, finishing high school through correspondence courses. He was a member of the Canadian National Team and received a scholarship to study at Penn State, majoring in marketing. 

A few years after graduation, Yang was working at an advertising agency in Toronto when he got a call from a Manhattan number. To his astonishment, they asked if he would be interested in auditioning for a Broadway revival of Miss Saigon.

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COVID-19: uOttawa to require vaccination for students living in residence

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Vaccination will be mandatory for students who want to live in residence at the University of Ottawa this year, with proof of vaccination and at least one dose required before move-in, or within two weeks of doing so if they can’t secure a shot before arriving.

Those who can’t receive a vaccine for “health-related reasons or other grounds protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code” will be able to submit a request for accommodation through the university’s housing portal, according to information on the university’s website.

Students with one dose living in residence will also have to receive their second dose “within the timeframe recommended by Ottawa Public Health.”

People who haven’t been granted an exemption and don’t get vaccinated or submit proof of having done so by the deadlines set out by the school will have their residence agreements terminated, uOttawa warns.

“Medical and health professionals are clear that vaccination is the most (effective) means of protecting people and those around them,” reads a statement provided to this newspaper by uOttawa’s director of strategic communications, Patrick Charette.

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“It is precisely for this reason that the University of Ottawa is requiring all students living in residence for the 2021-2022 academic year to be fully vaccinated. The University recognizes that some students may require accommodations for a variety of reasons and will be treating exceptions appropriately.”

Faculty, staff and students are also strongly encouraged to get vaccinated, the statement notes.

“Ensuring a high vaccine coverage in all communities is critical to ensuring an ongoing decline in cases and ending the pandemic. This will be especially important with the return of students to post-secondary institutions in our region in the fall of 2021.”

Neither Carleton University nor Algonquin College is currently mandating vaccination for students living in residence, according to the websites for both schools. But uOttawa isn’t alone in its policy – Western University, Trent University, Durham College and Fanshawe College have all implemented similar requirements. Seneca College, in the GTA, is going even further, making vaccination mandatory for students and staff to come to campus, in-person, for the fall term.

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