The newswires buzzed this past Sunday and Monday with report of a supposedly happy ending to story that began with a deadly traffic accident in downtown Indianapolis on the afternoon of June 5, 2010. A chartered shuttle bus carrying a wedding party and guests collided with a Chevy Yukon, injuring more than a dozen people on the bus. Also, one of the groomsmen died at the scene after suffering a severe brain injury when the bus, hired from the Mavris Arts & Event Center, spun at least 90 degrees and flipped onto its side.
The positive spin put on the story was that the bride and groom went through with their marriage ceremony at the hospital where they and their injured friends and family members received treatment. Police investigations into the accident painted a darker picture.
Eyewitness accounts and reconstructions indicate that the bus driver ran a red light, putting his passengers in the path of oncoming traffic. Further, the driver of the SUV, identified in press reports as Camilo Ortega-Aldarbo, did not have — and had never held — a driver’s license.
So the bus driver failed to heed a traffic signal and fatally endangered his passengers. At the same time, the driver of the SUV seems to have been an accident waiting to happening. Such an accident did happen, and 29-year-old father James Douglass lost his life.
Bus companies and drivers literally hold passengers’ lives in their hands. Likewise, every driver on the road needs to be licensed and alert and able to respond to unexpected situations such as another vehicle running a red light.
My thoughts go out to the Douglass family and everyone affected by his untimely passing.