RTA Driver Who Hit Woman on Public Square Indicted


Like ships in the night, the No. 26 eastbound and the No. 22 westbound pass on Superior. - SAM ALLARD / SCENE
  • Sam Allard / Scene
  • Like ships in the night, the No. 26 eastbound and the No. 22 westbound pass on Superior.
A grand jury has charged former RTA driver Antoinette Peterkin with aggravated vehicular homicide and vehicular homicide in the death of 69-year-old Joan Kuendig, who was struck while crossing Rockwell Avenue on the northeast corner of Public Square on the morning of Dec. 7.

Peterkin was fired shortly after that incident. An RTA incident review committee found that Peterkin had slowed, but not come to a complete stop, before she turned onto Rockwell from East Roadway.

At the time, Superior Avenue through Public Square had been closed to buses. The death of Kuendig was seen as a rebuke to Mayor Frank Jackson, who stubbornly refused to open Superior on the grounds of safety, arguing that terrorism hadn't been exhaustively prepared for. But buses making turns — in particular, left-hand turns — tend to be a much more realistic safety issue, and the closure of Superior increased the number of annual turns by more than a million.

While Peterkin's route was not affected by the Superior closure, and the bus would have been making the turn anyway, Kuendig's death was nevertheless immediately used as ammunition in arguments to re-open the Square.

Peterkin will be officially charged in court on May 10.

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