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Woman Dies After Being Hit by Downtown Bus

October 08, 2003|Sharon Bernstein | Times Staff Writer

A 53-year-old woman crossing a downtown street was struck and killed by an MTA bus Tuesday morning.

The woman was walking north across 1st Street at Broadway when she was hit by the bus. Police declined to identify the pedestrian, pending notification of relatives, other than to say she was Latina.

The 25-year-old driver of the Line 30 bus was making a right turn from northbound Broadway to eastbound 1st Street about 6:50 a.m. when he hit the woman, Officer Grace Brady said. The victim was taken to County-USC Hospital in critical condition and died later in the day.

The Line 30 bus serves an area between West Pico Boulevard and East 1st Street, crossing downtown by going north on Broadway.

The driver said he did not see the woman, and a tape from a video camera mounted on the bus appeared to bear that out, Brady said.

"I don't know if it was his fault or her fault or both their faults," Brady said. "Because if you're stepping off a sidewalk and the bus is beginning to turn, you could be in his blind spot."

The bus driver was not arrested, and police do not believe he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Brady said. She said that police did not yet know whether the light was green or red, and that, by Tuesday afternoon, no witnesses had come forward. While police declined to request a drug test from the driver, whose name was withheld, Metropolitan Transportation Authority accident policy requires that one be administered. The results will be turned over to the police.

MTA spokesman Jose Ubaldo said that, between 1991 and 2000, MTA buses struck and killed an average of 5.8 pedestrians per year.

When asked how many pedestrians had been struck or killed by MTA buses in the last year, officials said the information was not readily available. However, in June, a woman was killed near West Adams Boulevard and South Figueroa Street as she walked her bicycle across the street.

In that case, as in Tuesday's accident, the bus was making a right turn when it hit the pedestrian.

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