REDWOOD CITY, Calif. - A 70-year-old woman was killed by a SamTrans bus in Redwood City Thursday morning -- the second fatal accident at the intersection within the last three months.
“Sometimes it does get fast and dangerous from what I see, there could possibly, eventually be an accident,” said an elderly woman as she hurried to cross El Camino Real, adding that she fears she could get hit.
In Thursday's incident, the bus was turning southbound on El Camino Real from James Street, the exit out of Sequoia Station and the Redwood City Caltrain station at 8:47 a.m. when it stuck the woman. She was pronounced dead a short time later.
“Witnesses say she was in the crosswalk. It’s really too early to say what happened. But from what we do know, she was in the crosswalk,” said SamTrans Spokeswoman Tasha Bartholomew.
Four passengers not including the driver were onboard the bus at the time of the crash, according to Bartholomew. The bus, number 127, was on the ECR route, which extends from the Daly City BART station to the Palo Alto Transit Center, a distance of about 31 miles.
The bus driver has been taken for drug and alcohol testing, which is standard protocol following an accident. They'll be off the job pending an outcome of the on-going investigation.
This is the second fatal SamTrans accident in the past two years, and third in the past decade. In 2017, a person was hit and killed at the Redwood City CalTrain station, a short distance from Thursday’s accident.
“It’s a really rare occurrence when one of our SamTrans buses hits and kills a person,” said Bartholomew. “Anytime something like this happens, it’s a tragedy. Our hearts go out to this woman’s family.”
The San Mateo County coroner will release the victim’s identity once family is notified. SamTrans officials say their buses are equipped with surveillance cameras, and that they’re now checking to see if the cameras on this bus were functioning and recorded the fatal accident.
Just over 12 weeks earlier on Wednesday, September 18, pedestrian Alex Camron Hill, 25, was struck and killed by an out-of-control Redwood City patrol car heading southbound on El Camino Real just past James Street.
Through a California Public Records Act request, on Thursday KTVU learned the police officer involved in the September crash is Officer Angela Wittman, a 12-year veteran with the Redwood City police dept. and K-9 handler.
Officer Angela Wittman with "Princ" (redwoodcity.org)
Wittman's patrol vehicle also struck two vehicles traveling in the northbound direction on El Camino Real before coming to rest on the northbound sidewalk of El Camino Real.
The California Highway Patrol is still in the process of investigating the deadly September crash.