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DEAN HOFFMEYER/TIMES-DISPATCH  

Richmond police worked at the scene of the fatal crash in which a GRTC Pulse bus hit 32-year-old Alice E. Woodson near West Broad and Bowe streets on Oct. 8.


Crime
Richmond authorities clear GRTC Pulse bus driver involved in fatal pedestrian crash last month

The operator of a GRTC Pulse bus that struck and killed a pedestrian on West Broad Street near Virginia Commonwealth University’s Siegel Center will not be charged with a crime, the Richmond Police Department said Thursday.

“After a full investigation from the Crash Team and after consultation with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, no charges will be filed in this incident,” said a news release from the police department.

At about 5 p.m. on Oct. 8, an eastbound GRTC Pulse bus struck and killed Alice E. Woodson, 32, near West Broad and Bowe streets. The operator and passengers on the bus were not injured in the crash, according to GRTC officials.

A police crash report on the incident says Woodson exited a vehicle that was stopped at a red light and stepped into the path of the bus. Authorities say the bus had the right of way.

In a statement Thursday afternoon, GRTC’s chief executive said she has requested that the transit company’s staff conduct an internal review of safety procedures to determine whether any procedural changes can be made or recommended to local officials to improve public safety.

“The GRTC family continues to mourn the loss of a beloved member of the community,” CEO Julie Timm said. “Our deepest sympathies are with her family and loved ones. We also continue to care for and support our bus operator and all our staff who witnessed and responded to the incident.”

“The entire GRTC team is dedicated to ensuring our own safety culture translates to a safer experience for everyone on the road, and I am proud of the service our operators deliver day-in and day-out.”

Woodson was the first person to be struck and killed by a GRTC bus since 2009. Teresa Jones, the operator of the bus in the incident 10 years ago, was convicted of reckless driving in the death of Prince George County resident Loucendia Reed Lambert, 55, who was on her way to work at the Virginia Department of Health.

At least one other person has been hit by one of the transit system’s new Pulse buses.

In November 2018, about four months after the launch of the 7.6-mile bus rapid transit line that travels between Willow Lawn and Rocketts Landing, a bus struck VCU student Hope D’Amico as she was crossing West Broad near the North Pine Street intersection.

D’Amico, who suffered minor injuries in the crash, was in a signal-free pedestrian crosswalk when she was struck. Video of the incident shows vehicle traffic had been stopped at a red light as the bus was coming through the adjacent Pulse bus lane.

A police department spokesman said no criminal charges were filed against the driver in that incident.

GRTC officials say there are records for 105 reported crashes and minor incidents involving the Pulse system.

Timm has said officials have been reviewing those records, but have yet to provide copies of them in response to a request made by the Richmond Times-Dispatch last month.


C. SUAREZ ROJAS/TIMES-DISPATCH  

Baristas at the Starbucks at West Broad and Bowe streets put up a memorial for Woodson, who was a regular customer at the store.


Z-no-digital
Baldacci to headline next RTD Book Club event with new book 'A Minute to Midnight'

Tickets are limited for the next RTD Book Club event, which will feature award-winning novelist and Richmond native David Baldacci.

Baldacci will be the second guest speaker in the RTD’s new series, just as the New York Times best-selling author releases his new novel, “A Minute to Midnight.” He will give a talk about the book the day after it publishes.

The event is Nov. 20 and will be held at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, at 2880 Mountain Road in Henrico County.

General admission tickets are $60 and include a copy of the book, the next in Baldacci’s Atlee Pine series. VIP tickets are sold out.

The book talk begins at 6 p.m. Baldacci will be available to sign books after the event.

To purchase tickets, go to Richmond.com/Baldacci.

Baldacci graduated from Henrico High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, followed by a law degree from the University of Virginia.

He has sold more than 130 million books worldwide. His works include “Absolute Power,” which was made into a movie starring Clint Eastwood and Gene Hackman.

In addition to his literary works, Baldacci co-founded with his wife the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit that supports literacy efforts throughout the United States.


Baldacci