Santa Cruz Transit District Faces $500K Lawsuit for Fatal Wastonville Bus Crash

01/12/2012 // WPB, FL, USA // Injury Lawyers News // Nicole Howley

Watsonville, CA — The family of a 79-year-old Watsonville man who was killed in a February 2010 bus crash has filed a nearly $500,000 lawsuit. The lawsuit, which was filed on Nov. 21, named the bus driver and the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District as the defendants, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

Watsonville police reports revealed that Salvador Lopez Chipres was using his walker while crossing in a crosswalk near the Metro Center, on Rodriquez Street and West Lake Avenue, on Feb. 4 when he was truck by the bus driver, as she was making a left turn.

The bus driver, 57-year-old Mary Ellen Miller, was apparently stopped at the transit facility, and was pulling out when the accident occurred. Police later determined that Miller was at fault for the crash.

Investigations showed that Miller was at fault because she “failed to yield the right of way to a pedestrian crossing within a marked crosswalk.”

The collision left Chipres with a head injury, and was flown to a San Jose hospital for treatment. Chipres remained at the hospital in a coma for two months, until his death on April 5.

According to court documents, prosecutor Jason Gill filed vehicular manslaughter charges against Miller in May.

As a result of the pedestrian accident, Chipres’ family spent at least $427,000 in medical, funeral and burial expenses.

A case management conference is set for Feb. 15 in Santa Cruz County Superior Court.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for California wrongful death lawyers.

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