METRO Discharges Bus Driver in Conclusion of Investigation into April 17 Fatal Bus Accident
A thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding an accident that occurred in the Mid-town area on the evening of April 17, 2012 has led METRO officials to discharge the driver whose bus struck and killed a pedestrian.
METRO Police Department and safety officials followed up on eyewitness accounts and examined evidence related to the tragic accident. “Based on the facts of the investigation it was determined the driver Mark Upchurch, who had been with the Authority for 12 years, could have taken measures to prevent this accident. The discharge, however, is an administrative matter. Independent of that, the Harris County District Attorney’s office will now conduct its own investigation. I am satisfied that we placed the necessary resources at hand for a thorough investigation, and while the circumstances are tragic, we continue to expect our drivers to maneuver their vehicles in a safe manner and with a high-level of skill,” said Andrew Skabowski, METRO Senior Vice President for Service Delivery.
Based on preliminary information the pedestrian was thought to have walked into the oncoming bus as he crossed the entrance to the Wheeler Transit Center. At the time the bus driver reported he did not see the pedestrian and was unable to stop in time to avoid the accident. There were no customers on board and no reports of other injuries.
METRO president and CEO George Greanias noted, “Our drivers are among the best in the nation and show their skill and care transporting thousands of Houstonians safely each day. We will continue to honor Safety as our key operating principle by training and working with our drivers, mechanics and support personnel to make this the safest transit authority in the country.”