RTA Bus Driver Behind Wheel During Public Square Collision was Fired


  • Sam Allard / Scene
The RTA bus driver who was behind the wheel during a December collision on Public Square that killed a pedestrian has been fired. The driver was initially suspended, but was terminated on Jan. 23, according to an RTA spokesperson.

An RTA accident review committee determined that the collision on Dec. 7, which resulted in the death of 69-year-old Joan Kuendig, was preventable. The driver slowed, but did not come to a complete stop before turning onto Rockwell Avenue from East Roadway. Police have previously reported that Kuendig was legally crossing the street.

The driver has not yet faced criminal charges, according to Cleveland.com.

Mayor Frank Jackson has insisted that Superior Avenue through Public Square remain closed to buses. He initially closed the Square in November and has cited the Square’s popularity and safety concerns as his chief reasons for keeping it closed, despite the increase in dangerous turns, the delays caused by re-routing, and a looming $12 million debt, triggered by the closure, that the Federal Transit Administration intends to collect by Feb. 21.

On a Dec. 30 press conference, the day after Ms. Kuendig’s death, Jackson said he would not try to mitigate the family’s grief.

"What I will say, however," he said, "is that we're reviewing that to see whether or not there were some other circumstances that caused that to happen, as opposed to just making a left-hand turn."

RTA told Scene that the city will now conduct its own investigation into the accident.

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