Two Other Vehicles Also Hit Man Metro Suspends Bus Driver While Accident Under Investigation
A man who died after being struck by a transit bus also was hit by at least two other vehicles that failed to stop afterwards, a witness said.
The 55-year-old Metro bus driver was arrested for investigation of hit-and-run driving, and a second man was arrested for investigation of vehicular assault after a police officer was injured slightly while directing traffic around the accident site early Saturday morning.
Both were later released on their own recognizance.
Police Sgt. Jon Quackenbush said Sunday there had been no additional arrests in the case.
The dead man was identified by King County medical examiner’s investigators as Timothy Scott Macha, 28, a laborer from Portland.
Reports in the medical examiner’s office quoted witnesses as saying Macha, wearing dark clothing, was hit by the bus about 1 a.m. while trying to cross Washington 99, Pacific Highway South, near South 238th Street.
The driver was described by Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle officials as a 15-year veteran of the transit agency who had no major accidents in the past 10 years.
As a routine procedure, he was suspended pending completion of an internal investigation over the next one to three weeks, according to a statement issued by Metro.
Teresa Meyer of Portland said she and Macha had just arrived by train to visit her mother, who lives in a trailer park near the accident scene.
Macha was crossing the road to call his family from a pay telephone at a convenience store, said Shannon Meyer, Teresa’s brother.
“I heard the Metro bus go by and heard the Metro bus hit him,” he said. “I didn’t know it was him.”
The driver stopped the bus, got out, looked around and drove away, he added.
He said he saw at least two other vehicles hit the body in the road and other witnesses said as many as four may have struck the body.
When Macha failed to return to the mobile home, Teresa Meyer and some friends went to find him and recognized his body by the purple jacket he had been wearing.
“He was too young to die,” she said. “I just love him and I’ll miss him. I just want to rewind time.”
No one other than the driver was on the bus, which was returning to a Metro base after finishing the 130-132 route, officials said.
A police news release said the driver was arrested by Pierce County sheriff’s deputies at his home in Buckley for investigation of felony hit-and-run and was cooperating with investigators.
While traffic was being diverted around the accident scene, marked by lighted flares, traffic cones and police car lights, a vehicle piled into the rear of a patrol car. The officer was taken to Highline Hospital for observation and released, and the driver was arrested, police said.
The most recent three fatal accidents involving Metro buses and pedestrians were in February, last year and 1991.
Metro’s statement said the agency’s rate of accidents per million miles declined about 40 percent in the past decade. Metro won the American Public Transit Association’s top safety award in 1994 and 1992 and was runner-up in 1993.
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