A 59 year old woman succumbed to her injuries when she was struck by a city bus in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana on December 9th, 2019. The fatal accident occurred just before 6:30 pm on Baker and Harrison streets. The accident took place steps away from the city’s main bus terminal.
The pedestrian victim Sherri J. Hatmaker was hit by a Citilink bus and was rushed from the accident scene in a life-threatening condition. She was pronounced dead four days later at the local hospital.
The Death Was Ruled as an Accident
The Allen County Coroner’s Office reported that Hatmaker succumbed to blunt force injuries which were the result on her accident. Witness reports claim that Hatmaker was walking in the crosswalk when a Citilink bus westbound on Baker Street struck her.
There were multiple passengers on the bus at the time of the accident but no other injuries were reported. The accident was investigated by the Fort Wayne Police Fatal Accident Crash Team to ascertain the cause of the crash.
Citilink Issues Statement
Maurice Pearl, General Manager/CEO of the Fort Wayne Public Transportation Corporation (FWPTC) branded as Citilink released a statement after Hatmaker’s death saying that they were working in close cooperation with Fort Wayne Police Department to conduct an investigation into the accident.
The driver of a city bus is required to submit to a breathalyzer test after any crash resulting in injury as per Indiana state law. The results of the test were later made public.
Hatmaker’s death was the 40th fatal vehicle crash in 2019 in Allen County.
Buses are Strictly Regulated
City buses are subject to strict state and federal regulations because of the inherent number of tragedies associated with them. The bus company and drivers are required to adhere to a specific ‘standard of care’. They and other parties can be held liable in the event of an accident. Experienced city bus accident attorneys generally investigate the cause of a crash exhaustively to ascertain all the parties responsible.
A major area of regulation by federal government where buses are concerned is the hours of service (HOS) for bus drivers. This is intended to keep driver fatigue to a minimum and ensure quick reflexes and responses. The HOS regulations clearly state the amount of time a bus driver can be behind the wheel. To this effect, drivers are required to keep detailed log books and it takes a competent city bus accident lawyer to gain access to these records in the event of an accident.