The day after a Megabus fatally struck a 76-year-old woman near Union Station, the discount bus company agreed to pay more than $5 million to the family of a man fatally struck by a bus about two blocks away in 2010.
Wes Krueger, 64, was walking west on Adams Street, crossing Des Plaines on Feb. 23, 2010, when Megabus driver Shervyle Pruitt struck and dragged him 30 feet.
Krueger was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he later died. Pruitt was was ticketed for reckless driving and striking a pedestrian in the crosswalk with the right of way.
Krueger’s wife, Linda, filed a lawsuit against Megabus in March 2010, claiming Pruitt failed to keep a proper lookout, yield the right of way, sound the horn, obey traffic signals and slow down to avoid hitting a pedestrian.
"Our investigation revealed no failures in bus maintenance or driver training which would have contributed to the crash,” attorney Daniel Kotin said in the statement.
"Bus driver Pruitt simply didn’t see the pedestrian in the crosswalk. However, national data revealing a higher incident of crashes involving discount carriers combined with [Monday’s] death of Ms. [Donna] Halstead and last week’s Megabus crash near St. Louis leads me to believe that there is a systematic problem which must be addressed," the attorney said.
"These can no longer be seen as isolated incidents," he added.
Dale Moser, president of Megabus says the company ensures drivers have at least nine hours off between shifts, installs warning devices to alert drivers of drifting, and requires two drivers for overnight trips, midnight to 5 a.m.
Although federal records indicate a "satisfactory" safety rating for Megabus, the discount bus company has been cited for several safety violation in recent years, including speeding, insufficient records of drivers’ hours, and non-functioning head and tail lights.