STA cameras help show who caused weekend collision

STA cameras help show who caused weekend collision

A crash between an STA bus and a car this weekend was caught by multiple cameras and shows just how dangerous running a red light can be for everyone involved.

At any given movement there are at least eight cameras rolling aboard Spokane Transit Authority buses. The recordings are intended to monitor bad behavior and in some cases, other people’s bad driving.

Over the weekend in downtown Spokane a Subaru collided with an STA bus, and eyewitnesses like Theresa Taylor helped investigators determine who was responsible in the crash.

“We were coming down and this green car pulled in front of the bus and we T-boned it,” she said.

Taylor’s account of the accident is totally accurate, but the bus on-board cameras picked up something else important. The recordings showed the bus had a four second old green light when the Subaru entered the intersection.

“It did appear that inattention was a factor. this green light had been going for quite a while for the STA bus and unfortunately for what ever reason, this gentleman ran the red light and hit the bus,” Spokane Police Officer Teresa Fuller said.

The cameras also caught just how dangerous a 25 mile an hour crash can be as a passenger was thrown from her wheelchair.

“Sandy fell down and she went to the hospital already, she’s got stomach problems and lower back and she had a bruise under her arm,” Kathy Miller said.

No one was seriously hurt in part because the recording shows the bus driver was going the speed limit, but police say, if you have seat belt, you should be wearing it.

“Anything that’s unrestrained, you take the weight of the objects times the speed that you’re going and that’s the amount of force that it exerts, so a hundred pound human being at 20 miles per hour is going to exert 2,000 pounds of force,” Fuller said.

“I’ve ridden a bus for 25 years for as long as I’ve lived in Spokane and that’s never happened to me,” Taylor said.

The Subaru’s driver stayed on the scene, was concerned about the injured passengers on the bus and was subsequently ticketed for failure to obey traffic signals. That and the on-board video means his insurance company and not STA will likely have to cover the damages from this crash.