May 19th, 2010 5:33 pm | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP

Grand Jury Declines to Indict TriMet Driver for Fatal Collision (Updated)


The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office just announced that a grand jury has declined to indict Sandi Day, the driver in the fatal April 24 TriMet bus accident.

The crash killed two pedestrians and seriously injured a third in Old Town.

The grand jury decided Day was not guilty of negligent homicide. But the Portland Police may still charge Day with one or more violations, according to the DA's office. We have a call out to the cops to find out more on that.

The cops are planning to issue one or more traffic violations against Day, but no further details are being released until a news conference later this afternoon, says a police spokeswoman.

Check out Senior Deputy District Attorney Chuck Sparks' eight-page analysis of the case here (PDF). It contends Day was "entirely at fault" in causing the crash — including the conclusion she made an illegal left turn, a question first raised in Willamette Week.

Here's TriMet's response to the grand jury report:
We respect the thorough work of the grand jury, the Multnomah County District Attorney and the Portland Police Department. This was such an unbelievable tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the five victims, particularly those whose lives were lost.

TriMet is reviewing the 8-page report from the district attorney's office on the accident and awaiting the Portland Police Bureau's report. This will allow us to complete our own internal investigation, which will determine if the operator violated any of our policies and procedures while operating the Line 9 bus the night of the accident. Our operator remains on paid administrative leave.

In the interim, our comprehensive safety review is under way. The top-to-bottom review is being conducted by a safety expert affiliated with the National Safety Council looking at all of our safety practices from training to accident reviews and all things in between. We want to be assured we are following the best practices of any other transit property across the country.

The agency has already taken steps to change three routes at SW 4th and Hall. Line 17 no longer serves that stop to provide more distance to make a left-hand turn; lines 12 and 44 were rerouted at that location to also provide more distance to make a left-hand turn.
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