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Shapiro & Appleton

Richmond bus driver fired in wake of fatal crash

Difficult safety questions are facing the Richmond city bus system GRTC Transit System after it fired a driver accused of negligently killing a pedestrian.

The pedestrian, Loucendia Reed Lambert, died Sept. 30 as she crossed a street in downtown Richmond when a GRTC Transit System bus made a right turn, striking and killing her.

The driver, Teresa L. Jones, 46, had been on administrative leave since the accident. But she was fired this week on the same day Lambert’s family filed a wrongful-death lawsuit in the matter, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

Jones was charged with reckless driving after the September accident. Her trial on the charge in Richmond General District Court is set for Dec. 22.

The firing comes just weeks after another pedestrian struck while a GRTC bus was making as left turn was awarded $8 million for her injuries by a Richmond jury. My colleague John C. wrote about this verdict late last month; the pedestrian in that case suffered a broken pelvis and hip and will likely have to undergo multiple surgeries in the future.

According to the Federal Highway Administration’s Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center, almost a quarter of all right-turn-on-red traffic accidents involve pedestrians.

Federal research has found that a number of measures can reduce the incidence of such pedestrian accidents, including:

• Signs saying “YIELD TO PEDESTRIANS WHEN TURNING” or “PEDESTRIANS WATCH FOR TURNING VEHICLES” at the intersection.

• A lighted pedestrian crossing signal that includes “walk with care” with the standard directions of “walk” and “don’t walk.”

(MM)
Richard N. Shapiro
Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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