May 8, 2013 in City

Bus hits SUV on I-405 ramp, kills 2

Associated Press

SEATTLE – The driver of a Sound Transit bus says the brakes failed and he was unable to avoid hitting an SUV Monday night on an Interstate 405 transit ramp, killing two people.

The bus continued about a half-mile before it came to a stop in the high-occupancy vehicle lane, said Washington State Patrol Trooper Julie Judson.

Witnesses said the northbound bus ran a red light at the intersection on the ramp at the Totem Lake freeway station, Judson said. The bus broadsided the westbound 2010 Ford Escape on the passenger side.

The impact killed a Bellevue couple who were passengers in the SUV. Robert Rotta, 76, died at the scene, and Elizabeth Rotta, 75, later died at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, the patrol said.

The Route 535 bus was headed from Bellevue to Lynnwood at 9:30 p.m. Monday.

It was the first fatal Sound Transit bus accident since the service began in 1999, said spokesman Bruce Gray.

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