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Transit authority, bus driver sued in fatal pedestrian accident

Posted on in Car Accidents

Public transit drivers have a great deal of responsibility. They're charged with transporting large amounts of people every day in huge and sometimes unwieldy vehicles, in a variety of road conditions. And they must ensure the safety of not only their passengers, but the people moving around just outside the vehicle. It's important that they keep a close watch out for pedestrians in their path, who are no match for buses, vans and trains.

The family of a man who was hit by a bus last February while attempting to cross the street is suing the bus driver and the transit authority for damages associated with his death. The 79-year-old Watsonville, California, man was pushing his walker in a crosswalk when the accident happened.

Police said the driver was at fault for failing to yield the right of way to a pedestrian as the bus made a left turn. Vehicular manslaughter charges were filed against her in May, though it's unclear when that case is due back in court.

The man suffered a head injury that put him in a coma for two months until he died. His family spent more than $427,000 in medical, funeral and burial expenses, and is seeking roughly that amount from the transit authority and the driver. An attorney representing the transit district filed an answer to the suit that denies its claims. In part, it blamed the driver for being "careless and negligent and/or at fault." A trial date is expected to be set in the fall.

Whether the driver, the transit agency or both are held liable for the man's death, the victim's family deserves to be compensated for the tremendous financial costs they've already paid, not to mention the emotional loss of their loved one.

Source: TheCalifornian.com, "Family of man killed in Watsonville bus wreck sues transit authority," Stephen Baxter, Jan. 12, 2012

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