Our readers in the Austin area are probably used to seeing news reports about car accidents here or there, but any time a fatality is involved it can be a shock for the local community. That was the case in an incident from earlier this year, in which a Capital Metro bus struck a bicyclist, resulting in the bicyclist’s death.
According to the reports, the bus driver, a 40-year-old woman, was arrested after the deadly incident and has since been charged with manslaughter. The collision between the bus and the bicyclist occurred on January 28 on the University of Texas campus. As of mid-march, the bus driver was being held in custody, with a bond set at $80,000.00.
Any type of deadly vehicle-pedestrian collision can be a tragedy, but the facts that are starting to be reported about this particular incident are especially troubling. It appears that the bus driver may have been under the influence of a number of prescription drugs at the time of the collision, which were reportedly seized from her backpack during the course of the law enforcement investigation. All of the medications that were reportedly seized listed “drowsiness” among the potential side effects. That would mesh with witness reports, as well as video footage, all of which reportedly show that the bus driver did not react to the bicyclist’s presence at all until after she struck the 39-year-old man.
Although this bus driver is already facing a criminal case, it is likely that the surviving relatives of the victim who was killed may be exploring civil legal options as well. They may be able to pursue financial compensation for the reckless driving that led to the bicyclist’s death.