(CHICAGO) A woman was killed Tuesday when a CTA bus ran a red light and drove onto a crowded sidewalk near Michigan Avenue and Lake Street in the evening rush hour, leaving the bus driver and seven others injured, officials said.
About 5:50 p.m., the No. 148 Clarendon/Michigan Express bus was heading eastbound on Lake Street when it crashed at Michigan Avenue, CTA spokesman Brian Steele said.
The bus was initially stopped at a red light, but then proceeded through the light, striking two pedestrians and at least three other vehicles before jumping the curb, Chicago Police said. The accordion-style bus came to rest on the sidewalk on the north side of Lake Street, east of Michigan.
Nine people, including the 48-year-old man driving the bus and two pedestrians, were injured in the crash. No one except for the driver was on the CTA bus at the time, authorities said.
One pedestrian, 51-year-old Aimee Coath, of the 2600 block of Central Drive in Flossmoor, was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 6:07 p.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
Everyone else injured in the crash suffered non-life-threatening injuries, police said.
The driver was issued citations for failure to stop at a red light and failure to exercise due care, police said. He has been with the CTA for less than a year, Steele said, adding that it was not known how long he had been driving the No. 148 route.
Evanston resident Julie Larkin works in the Michigan Plaza building near the site of the crash, and said she was in a first-floor CVS when she heard a scream and then “a horrible thuddy crash.”
She ran outside to see the bus driver with his eyes closed, apparently unconscious. Several good Samaritans got on the bus to check on him while she called 911.
“I’ll never forget that scream,” Larkin said.
Investigators are analyzing video footage from a camera on board that shows the interior of the bus, Steele said.
The police Major Accident Investigation Unit is also looking into the crash.
Parts of Michigan Avenue and Lake Street were closed to traffic for several hours Tuesday evening as emergency crews responded.
The CTA rerouted several buses around the crash scene Tuesday night, but normal service has resumed as of about 9:15 p.m.