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John Bisnar
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Husband of woman crushed by bus filed $100-million lawsuit

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Public transportation bus accident kills two women.

The husband of an Virginia woman who was struck and killed by a Metrobus in downtown Washington D.C. last month filed a wrongful death lawsuit in federal court Monday, seeking $100 million in damages from the transit agency, according to an article in the Washington Post.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, was brought by Gregory Schoenborn, whose wife, Martha Stringer Schoenborn, 59, was crossing Pennsylvania Avenue NW with a friend and co-worker the evening of Feb. 14 when they were struck by a bus turning left from northbound Seventh Street.

The article states that the two women, employees of the Federal Trade Commission, were in the crosswalk and had the “Walk” sign, authorities said. The friend, Sally Dean McGhee, 54, also of Alexandria, died at the scene. Schoenborn was taken to George Washington University Hospital, where she was treated for “multiple blunt impact and crushing injuries” before she died about a half-hour after she was struck, according to the lawsuit.

The Metrobus driver, Victor Kolako, 53, of Southeast Washington, has been charged with two counts of negligent homicide and was fired last week. At a March 8 hearing in D.C. Superior court, a detective testified that two witnesses said the driver failed to look to his left before turning.

The incident was one of three Metrobus accidents that have resulted in four pedestrian deaths since January. Metro officials say they have short- and long-term measures to improve safety training and recruitment of bus drivers. The lawsuit, which alleges wrongful death and negligence on the part of the bus driver and the transit agency, said the driver failed to yield the right of way to a pedestrian and failed to apply the brakes in a timely manner, among other failures.

This is a big tragedy for two unsuspecting families and a tragedy for the transit system in Washington D.C. Why does it always take death and/or destruction for authorities to wake up and do what they should have done in the first place?

The bus driver is facing criminal charges, rightly so. It is criminal negligence not to yield or even look on the street for pedestrians. These are the basic rules of the road. What kind of people is the transit agency hiring? They apparently have serious problems with their hiring process among other things.

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