Police are working on positively identifying the man they think was killed by an RTC Ride Bus Sunday. They have a description of the man and a strong lead as to who he was. Police used a key that was in the man's pocket when he was hit to open the door to his home. They plan on releasing his name once they've confirmed who he was and notified his family.
Reno police say 49-year old James Wong was driving the
RTC bus at the time of the accident and struck a man using the crosswalk at lake and plaza streets downtown.
RTC officials say despite training for situations just like this, the driver simply didn't see the elderly pedestrian crossing the street.
Driving a 40-foot passenger bus through Reno's busy streets is a big responsibility. Drivers like Bob Turley go through extensive training before they're allowed to operate the huge piece of machinery, and refresher courses are required to keep them on the roads. Turley's been a driver for 13 years, but he says even with experience, he can only control what goes on inside the bus.
"There are so many distractions going on downtown and other places, people trying to get here or there and they're not necessarily paying attention to what's going on....joggers, people arguing on the side, not paying attention, small kids with balls in their hands, bicycles."
Distractions that could be life threatening...or even fatal.
"Anytime you're in a bus or a car, there are opportunities for close calls and close calls. Inattentiveness of people around happen quite a bit," said Turley.
The bus and the drivers are equipped with the things they need to work against everyday distractions. Mirrors are one of their most important tools.
But even with the all the right tools, accidents can still happen.
"There's a point where you get over confident maybe, in life. We teach our drivers not to do that, to always have respect for the bus, respect for what is going on around them."
Police say the bus driver, James Wong, was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident, but that he could be facing charges of vehicular manslaughter RTC has placed him on administrative leave while the investigation continues.