Timmins man charged in bus driver attack — (Chronicle Journal)

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Chronicle Journal

By BRYAN MEADOWS

Nov 30, 2005

Passengers aboard a Greyhound Bus bound for Dryden Thursday morning had some harrowing moments just outside of Upsala.

Provincial police said a male passenger kicked and punched the driver as he was turning the bus around on Highway 17 to return to Upsala and report the man to police.

With the bus blocking both lanes of the highway at 2:15 a.m., passengers helped subdue the man, said OPP Const. Tim Buckland.

Police said the man, who had approached and shouted at the bus driver just prior to the alleged assault, had been told repeatedly by the driver to remove his feet from the aisle and off the seats.

“Fortunately, the driver chose an appropriate location to turn the bus around with sufficient visibility and opportunity to provide other traffic time to avoid a collision with the bus,” Buckland said.

The bus returned to Upsala where OPP officers took a man into custody.

Lawrence Fournier, 36, of Timmins, faces charges of assault, mischief endangering life and breach of probation. He appears for a show cause hearing today in Thunder Bay court.

Greyhound spokesman Brad Shepherd could not be reached Thursday.

The incident was eerily similar to a fatal bus crash near Upsala five years ago.

Shaun Lawrence Davis, 26, of Nova Scotia, was charged with various offences after a bus veered off the Trans-Canada Highway on the evening of Dec. 23, 2000. Several passengers suffered serious injuries and a 74-year-old woman later died in hospital.

Following a lengthy trial, he was found not criminally responsible by reason of mental disorder.

It was learned at the February 2002 trial that the Pictou, N.S., resident had been living in Calgary and was intending to return home. Complaining of depression, he had gone to a walk-in clinic and obtained prescription medication.

During the ride through Northwestern Ontario he became agitated. After over-prescribing on the pills, he lunged at the driver and grabbed the steering wheel, forcing the bus off the road and down a ravine.

Following the verdict, Davis was sent to Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital. Over the years he’s been in treatment programs and progressed to the point where he was allowed to live on his own.

However, he continued to get into trouble. In October 2003 he made a furtive return to Nova Scotia and was convicted of assault. In January 2004, he was convicted of criminal harassment.

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