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Communities in mourning as OPP officer and respected school bus driver killed in crash

Messages of support continue to come in following the death of an OPP officer and a school bus driver.

Both were killed in a crash when their vehicles collided at Oxford Road 33 and Highway 59 northwest of Woodstock.

Det. Const. Steven Torangeau, 35, originally from Lakeshore, Ont., was identified by the OPP as the officer who died.

Police said the driver of the bus would not be identified, however, a GoFundMe page identifies him as Dave Stewart and his obituary has been posted by a local funeral home.

According to the page, the fundraiser was set up by his family who said, "Our father was killed this morning [Monday] in a school bus accident. Dave was a well loved man by his family and friends as well as the children he drove on his school bus.... we are raising money to help with funeral costs."

CTV News London spoke with members of Dave’s family who told us, "He was a well-rounded family man who loved watching football and Nascar. He was well known around Woodstock from his small engine repair business and he always had a smile on his face. He loved cracking jokes and would do anything for his daughters, son in laws and anyone in need.

A parent whose child rode Stewart's bus told CTV News Kitchener he was a "phenomonal man who was amazing at his job and amazing with the students."

A note from the Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) to parents was sent home following the crash when it was learned one of the bus drivers that services TVDSB schools was involved.

Dave Stewart. (Source: GoFundMe)

"Dear Parents and Caregivers,

This email is to update the school about a reported traumatic event in the community.

At approximately 7:00am this morning there was a collision involving a school bus and a vehicle in Oxford County. There were no students on the bus at the time of the collision.

Both drivers, including the school bus driver were killed in the collision. OPP are not releasing the name of the school bus driver out of respect to the family’s privacy.

This type of event impacts everyone differently.  We have attached some information for parents and caregivers on typical responses youth have when they experience such stress and what may be helpful in supporting them through this.

A Traumatic Event Response Team is available to offer support to students. If your child requires additional support, please reach out to the school directly.

This is a very difficult time for all of us and our thoughts and condolences are with the families.

Sincerely,

Thames Valley District School Board"

The London Police Service will be taking over the investigation.

The rural Oxford County intersection where where the crash took place was less than a month away from becoming a four-way stop, according to the county.

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.

Neighbours told CTV News on Monday the corner of Highway 59 and Oxford County Road 33 is well known for being dangerous.

— With files from CTV News Kitchener

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