Chicago CTA Bus Driver Cited For Fatal Bus Crash

Multiple news outlets have reported about the Tuesday’s CTA bus crash in downtown Chicago that killed one pedestrian and seriously injuring seven others. The driver allegedly came to a stop at the red light at Lake Street while heading North on Michigan Avenue, then inexplicably, drove through the red light and ended up on the sidewalk after trying to avoid another vehicle. All of this led to the death of a woman and the multiple injuries.

The driver, who started his job with the CTA in September, was was issued two traffic citations for the crash. The driver  began his shift Tuesday at 6:20 a.m., driving the Clark Street #22 bus till 8:20 a.m., Chase said. His next shift began at 2:31 p.m. on the 152 Addison and 135 Clarendon/LaSalle routes before he started driving the 148 Clarendon/Michigan route at 5:27 p.m., about 20 minutes before the collision was reported.

The question (or elephant in the room) that needs to be answered is why in the world did the driver run that red light?  There are no red light cameras or speeder cameras at that intersection. It is possible that the camera from the bus could shed some light on the incident. Also, more than likely, there has to be surveillance cameras from the neighboring loop office buildings, including the mammoth Illinois Center. Regardless, the CTA will be seeing multiple lawsuits. One for wrongful death from the family of the deceased and the others for the personal injuries of those who survived the bus accident.

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Illinois Governor Pat Quinn recently signed into law a repeal of tSection 41, the notice requirement for law suits against the CTA. This was a huge victory for injured victims. This Draconian law required a very detailed notice to the CTA within 6 months of the date of their accident. The notice requirement was used as a tactic to weed out lawsuits rather than use it as an investigative tool, which is why the legislation was originally enacted. Illinois case law showed that the CTA often used this notice requirement as a way to have cases dismissed when they did not meet the very particular notice requirements, often leaving innocent injury victims out of luck when trying to make an injury  claim against the CTA.

There are 2 important  things to remember about the effects of the new law. First, if your accident occurred on or before June 1, 2009, then the notice requirement is still in effect. Second, suits against the CTA still must be filed within 1 year of the accident.  This is shorter than the normal 2 year statute of limitations for most personal injury actions in Illinois.

To read more about the repeal of Section 41, click here

If you or someone you know was involved in an accident on a CTA bus or train, then call Attorney Aaron Bryant at 312-388-3384 for a free consultation.