Blind Pedestrian Sues Des Moines Transit Authority After Being Hit By Bus

Des Moines, Iowa—a blind pedestrian that was struck and injured in a 2008 bus crash alleges in his lawsuit that the bus driver that hit him worked an “unsafe number of hours” in the days prior to the accident. The pedestrian, Roger D. Christenson, suffered two broken ribs and an injured head and filed a lawsuit requesting compensation for his medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses.

The accident occurred on March 26, 2008 when Christenson was crossing an intersection in the downtown area. The bus driver, Susan Jane Leveke-Meyers, allegedly turned left into the intersection and struck Christenson. According to the lawsuit, Christenson had the right-of-way with a “walk signal” on the stoplight. Furthermore, he was also carrying a white stick indicating his vision impairment.

The lawsuit was filed last Friday against the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART) and argues that Leveke-Meyers was not properly trained, failed to follow basic safety precautions, and worked too many hours consecutively. Leveke-Meyers was fired shortly after the accident and is not named in the lawsuit. However, her seven-year record with the company included eight accidents that were deemed preventable, but not necessarily her fault. A DART spokesman recently argued that the agency has a system in place to “spread the amount of overtime” worked by all drivers. Nevertheless, Christenson’s lawsuit alleges that DART is at fault “given what it knew concerning her lack of competence, and given its conduct in encouraging or compelling Susan Jane Leveke-Meyers to work an unsafe number of hours in the bus” prior to the accident.