Megabus to pay $5M in 2010 Chicago death - FOX 32 News Chicago

Megabus to pay $5M in 2010 Chicago death

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Attorney Daniel Kotin told FOX Chicago News that after years of going back and forth, Megabus called his law office Wednesday to settle a lawsuit filed on behalf of Wes Krueger.

"I think we may have a trend here," Kotin said, "and it might be time to look at these as part of a sequence of events rather than isolated incidents."

"He was in the crosswalk when a Megabus motor coach was making a left hand turn from Adams onto Des Plaines and struck Wes in the crosswalk," Corboy and Demetrio's Kotin said, "dragging him about 30 feet before stopping."

Krueger was a father and grandfather, struck by the Megabus in February of 2010. He was taken to the hospital, but did not survive his injuries.

Krueger's wife, Linda, filed a lawsuit against Megabus in March 2010, claiming Pruitt failed to keep a proper lookout, yield the right of way, sound the horn, obey traffic signals and slow down to avoid hitting a pedestrian.

Kotin said after years of going back and forth, Megabus called his law office Wednesday to settle a lawsuit filed on behalf of Krueger. The family's suit settled out of court for $5.1 million, just one day after another fatal bus accident involving a Megabus making a left turn.

"Our investigation revealed no failures in bus maintenance or driver training which would have contributed to the crash," Kotin said.

Bus driver Shervyle Pruitt, of the 1800 block of 225th Street in Sauk Village, was ticketed for reckless driving and striking a pedestrian in the crosswalk with the right of way.

"Pruitt simply didn't see the pedestrian in the crosswalk. However, national data revealing a higher incident of crashes involving discount carriers combined with [Monday's] death of Ms. [Donna] Halstead and last week's Megabus crash near St. Louis leads me to believe that there is a systematic problem which must be addressed," Kotin said.

A Megabus spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the settlement Wednesday.

Donna Halstead, 76, was killed Tuesday afternoon. The driver told investigators the bus' mirror hit her. She was steps away from the sidewalk.

That bus was attempting to make a left turn from South Canal onto West Adams when it struck the woman walking north on Canal in the crosswalk at 2:17 p.m., police News Affairs Officer Daniel O'Brien said.

"The fact that yesterday's incident ... occurred just a couple blocks from where Wes Krueger was killed is equally as tragic, but frankly, not surprising," Kotin said in the statement. "The Megabus curbside loading zone is in that neighborhood. With the number of motor coaches on the roads combined with afternoon pedestrian traffic, any amount of inattentive driving would make a pedestrian death almost predictable."

Last week in downstate Illinois, a University of Missouri student from Mumbai was killed and dozens injured when a Megabus heading to St. Louis blew a tire near Litchfield.

A Megabus transporting 80 passengers caught fire in Georgia Wednesday afternoon.

A three-hour trip to Indianapolis costs only $10 if you take Megabus. But even in light of the recent accidents involving these discounted rides, some travelers said they still feel pretty safe.

They usually just kick back, relax and wait until the trip is over. Not much of a price to pay for a cheap ride, eh?

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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