A pedestrian was fatally struck Tuesday afternoon by a Pulse bus as she was crossing West Broad Street near Virginia Commonwealth University’s Siegel Center.
The death is the first involving a Pulse bus on GRTC Transit System’s bus rapid transit line in Richmond, which opened in June 2018 and connects Rocketts Landing with Willow Lawn.
The woman, whose identity was not immediately released, was hit about 5 p.m. and died at the scene, Richmond police spokesman James Mercante said.
Mercante said the woman was crossing Broad just west of Bowe Street, from south to north, when she was struck by an eastbound Pulse bus. He said the woman was knocked several feet across the intersection, to the other side of Bowe.
Mercante said the bus has video footage, which will be part of the investigation. The driver’s identity was not immediately disclosed.
“Early reports indicate the woman was in the bus lane and the bus had the right of way when the collision occurred,” Mercante said in a statement Tuesday night.
A fare enforcement inspector who was on board the bus reported an injury that GRTC spokeswoman Carrie Rose Pace described as minor. No injuries were reported by the eight passengers or the driver, she said.
Rose Pace said in a statement that GRTC is assisting Richmond police with the investigation and that “we won’t know more until security footage is reviewed.” The bus is still operable but was towed away.
“The entire GRTC family is grieved by the accident today, which took the life of a pedestrian, and our deepest condolences are with the pedestrian’s family,” the statement said. “We are focused on the well-being of our operator who drove the bus and are ensuring they receive care. Per safety protocols, the operator will be checked at a hospital.”
The state medical examiner’s office will determine the pedestrian’s cause and manner of death.
According to Rose Pace, the last pedestrian fatality involving a GRTC bus was in 2009 at 14th and Franklin streets. Teresa Jones, who was driving the bus, 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.
In January, six people were taken to hospitals after a Pulse bus and a car collided a little less than a half-mile west of Tuesday’s crash site, just southeast of The Sauer Center development. The driver of the car was charged with reckless driving.
In July 2018, a Pulse bus and a pickup truck collided at West Broad Street and North Allen Avenue, about two-tenths of a mile west of Tuesday’s crash, sending the bus driver and five bus passengers to the hospital. The driver of the pickup truck was issued a summons for a traffic infraction.
Last year, there were no pedestrian deaths on Richmond streets, though two people were killed walking along interstates within the city limits. In 2017, the city set a record with 11 pedestrian deaths, one of which was on Interstate 95. That is more than double the number of deaths of any other year on record.