Bus driver charged with vehicular manslaughter Crimes & Incidents, posted by Editor, Palo Alto Online, on Apr 18, 2011 at 6:02 pm
A SamTrans bus driver who struck and killed a woman in a Palo Alto crosswalk last December will face a misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charge, Rob Baker, Santa Clara County supervising deputy district attorney, said Monday (April 18).
Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, April 18, 2011, 5:26 PM
Posted by very sad, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Apr 18, 2011 at 6:02 pm
This is a very sad story. Obviously, the bus driver was not trying to kill the nurse. On the other hand, a motor vehicle is a huge weapon and needs to be handled as such. If the nurse was half way across the street when she was hit, then the driver had plenty of time to see her. If distractions limited the driver's ability to see the crosswalk, then she really needed to slow down or stop to give herself enough time to survey the intersection before driving through it. A bus is more difficult to drive than a car, but a bus driver is a professional and should have a lot more training and experience than your average car driver.
My condolences to the victim's friends and family.
Posted by very sad, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Apr 18, 2011 at 7:11 pm
Don't blame the victim! 7mph is many times faster than most pedestrians. Very doubtful that the victim could have outrun the bus, especially since the bus was coming from an odd angle and probably hard to pick up. If the driver really was "blinded by the sun", she should have stopped before crossing a popular crosswalk, then proceeded at walking speed (2mph).
Posted by Billy, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 18, 2011 at 7:32 pm
It's hard to watch this driver charged with manslaughter, based on the newspaper accounts. Losing her commercial license, maybe for life, would be better, unless it turns out that she was reckless in making this turn.
If she isn't found guilt, she should be suspended for maybe six months, and perhaps helped to find some other kind of employment. She doesn't sound like a person who made a habit of endangering others.
Posted by Maya, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Apr 19, 2011 at 6:51 am
Ok so this horrible, horrible accident occurs, accident, and the driver is facing charges and jail time yet the drunk lady from Atherton can cruise around wasted as she pleases showing no remorse and with no ramifications? ????
Posted by daniel, a resident of the Embarcadero Oaks/Leland neighborhood, on Apr 19, 2011 at 7:26 am
The Atherton alcoholic keeps driving despite multiple DUI incidents and never showing any remorse for extremely reckless and potentially deadly behavior, and this bus driver who may have been a bit careless but certainly sober, never meant to hurt anybody and who had demonstrated sincere remorse is charged with manslaughter. It's so nice to be able to buy your way out of trouble.
Posted by Driver, a resident of the Palo Verde neighborhood, on Apr 19, 2011 at 7:54 am
Absolutely no blame to the victim. Just a reminder to us all that we are all responsible for our own safety in traffic. It makes sense to be aware of all that is happening on the roads we use rather than assume anything.
Posted by Jw, a resident of Mountain View, on Apr 19, 2011 at 11:38 am
This is sad. It seems like a true accident. I don't think the bus could have been going much slower than 7mph... It's no ones fault, which is why it's called an accident. The bus driver already has to live with the knowledge she killed someone. It just seems like since the bus cameras showed her doing her job without distractions except shadows, she shouldn't have to go to jail.
Posted by KD, a resident of Stanford, on Apr 19, 2011 at 12:28 pm
I have to agree with so many comments, here. This tragedy was an accident. Jail time serves no one. My deepest condolences to the family of the victim. My prayers are with the driver who is suffering through the accident's aftermath.
Posted by felony vs misdeanor, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 19, 2011 at 2:59 pm
As I understand it, felony vs misdemeanor is determined by the degree of recklessness. A driver only has to be negligent for a misdemeanor, which running over a pedestrian in a crosswalk would demonstrate. For a felony the driver would have to have shown disregard for others safety. In this case, the slow speed, would indicate the driver was trying to operate the vehicle safely, but failed to do so, by not observing the pedestrian.
Posted by RWC, a resident of another community, on Apr 19, 2011 at 10:42 pm
I fervently concur with those posting that mercy is called for here. This was an accident in the truest sense of the word. Accidents happen. Even when the outcome is a tragedy, it's still an accident.
For those holding the driver to a standard no less than perfection - of course she could have been driving even more slowly. Of course she could have come to a full stop because of the glare. That's what a perfect person in a perfect situation would have done. As it is, she was driving at a reasonable speed, and a lousy confluence of factors has led to this terribly sad incident.
I too wish she could perform public service rather than sit in a jail. Who does that benefit?
To Ms. Artiga, should she chance to read this: I am so, so terribly sorry. I wish you comfort and healing, and the knowledge that this could have happened to anyone.
Posted by John, a resident of Mountain View, on Dec 11, 2012 at 10:17 pm
Hey Mo, I remember you telling me about what happened to your mom. I Just read this article. Im sorry bro. My deepest condolences to you and your family. We havent taked in a while. Feel free to call sometime and catch up.
Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto, on Dec 12, 2012 at 12:42 pm
As much as there is sympathy for the driver, & indeed, it was an accident, I want to know about the VICTIM and HER FAMILY. I don't recall learning much about any of them when this happened. This article is written to elicit as much sympathy for the driver as possible. Ok, fine, but it does so at the expense of the victim.
Yes, the driver didn't mean to do this, yes, she was highly distraught (as anyone w/a conscience would be), yes she had to go to the hospital due to her anxiety, BUT SHE IS ALIVE. She can find another career, walk down the street, celebrate the holidays & wake to another day. She can gradually move past this & get the help needed to do so. Ms. Krishnan cannot. I am so sorry.