Fatality Tracker: Woman killed after Megabus hits her crossing downtown street

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A Megabus is seen turning in 2007 at the intersection (Adams and Canal Streets, next to Union Station) of a deadly pedestrian crash last week. Photo by Thunderchild7.

2012 Chicago fatality stats*:

Pedestrian: 10 (6 have been hit-and-run crashes)
Pedalcyclist: 4 (1 is a hit-and-run crash)
Transit: 6

Donna Halstead was crossing Adams Street along Canal Street on last Tuesday, August 7, when she was struck by the passenger side mirror of a double-decker Megabus driven by Shemeka Hudson, fell to the ground, and later died. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the driver “was cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian” while state and city law require drivers to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks (where Halstead was crossing).

On Wednesday, Megabus settled a crash lawsuit for a different pedestrian death. From the Chicago Tribune:

Wesley Krueger died three blocks away [from Halstead’s crash location] on Feb. 23, 2010, when a Megabus struck him in a crosswalk at Adams and Desplaines Streets. Krueger family attorney Daniel Kotin said his clients and Megabus agreed to a $5.1 million settlement Wednesday in which the bus line did not admit wrongdoing. The timing, Kotin said, was unrelated to this week’s accident.

Governor Quinn on Thursday sent a letter to the United States transportation secretary Ray LaHood asking for an investigation of Megabus “to ensure that all proper procedures and precautions are in place regarding vehicles and drivers in accordance with state and federal law”, according to the Chicago Tribune. This follows a deadly crash in Illinois on Megabus the week prior in which a tire blew out and the bus crashed into an overpass column; a passenger on the second level died.

Lastly, “attorneys representing the family of Donna Halstead filed the wrongful death suit Friday”, according to NBC Chicago. The attorneys also represented the Krueger crash.

The suit is also requesting the bus be kept in an unaltered state for further inspection. Lawyers also want to see the driver’s personnel records. The plaintiffs are additionally requesting surveillance video that may have caught the crash, including footage from a nearby CVS. Attorneys also want to get a better look at how Megabus trains its drives to handle blind spots.

Megabus is a low-fare, intercity coach bus service from CoachUSA owned by the British company Stagecoach Group.

Watch this news clip from WGN 9 News

* The information is only accurate as of this post’s publishing time and includes only people who died in the Chicago city limits. View previous Fatality Tracker posts.

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