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Driver whose bus rammed into Canada daycare deemed fit to stand trial

FILE PHOTO: A Laval city bus is seen crashed into a daycare in Laval, Quebec

LAVAL, Quebec (Reuters) - A city bus driver, whose vehicle rammed into a daycare center in a Montreal suburb earlier this month, killing two children and injuring six others, is capable of standing trial, lawyers for both sides said on Friday.

Pierre Ny St-Amand, 51, faces first-degree murder and other charges for the Feb. 8 crash in the suburb of Laval. Authorities said the driver worked for Laval's transit system for 10 years and does not have a criminal record.

The incident resonated across the province of Quebec and made international headlines, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visiting the grieving suburban community.

St-Amand, who hit a police officer during his first court appearance, appeared in Quebec court in Laval wearing a dark sweatshirt and was escorted closely by four guards.

Authorities have not given any indication of a motive behind the incident.

Defence lawyer Julien Lesperance Hudon and prosecutor Karine Dalphond both told reporters outside the court that St-Amand had been deemed fit, following a psychiatric assessment.

Lesperance Hudon told reporters he had asked the court for another type of evaulation to assess whether St-Amand could be held criminally responsible for the events on Feb. 8.

Lesperance Hudon said he initially had difficulty communicating with his client, but St-Amand is now able to discuss the case. Nevertheless, the lawyer said he could ask for future evaluations on whether St-Amand is fit to stand trial.

(Reporting by Allison Lampert in Laval; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Sandra Maler)