Wednesday, May 19, 2010

TriMet responds to grand jury decision in fatal bus accident

May 19, 2010

TriMet today responded to the Multnomah County Grand Jury decision that no indictment will be issued against the operator involved in the April 24 fatal bus accident that occurred at NW Glisan and Broadway in downtown Portland.

TriMet General Manager Fred Hansen issued the following statement today:

We respect the thorough work of the grand jury, the Multnomah County District Attorney and the Portland Police Department. This was such an unbelievable tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the five victims, particularly those whose lives were lost.

TriMet is reviewing the 8-page report from the district attorney's office on the accident and awaiting the Portland Police Bureau's report. This will allow us to complete our own internal investigation, which will determine if the operator violated any of our policies and procedures while operating the Line 9 bus the night of the accident. Our operator remains on paid administrative leave.

In the interim, our comprehensive safety review is under way. The top-to-bottom review is being conducted by a safety expert affiliated with the National Safety Council looking at all of our safety practices from training to accident reviews and all things in between. We want to be assured we are following the best practices of any other transit property across the country.

The agency has already taken steps to change three routes at SW 4th and Hall. Line 17 no longer serves that stop to provide more distance to make a left-hand turn; lines 12 and 44 were rerouted at that location to also provide more distance to make a left-hand turn.

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