Driver of CTA bus in fatal crash identified; investigation continues

SHARE Driver of CTA bus in fatal crash identified; investigation continues
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One woman was killed when a CTA bus crashed onto a sidewalk at Michigan Avenue and Lake Street on Tuesday. | Sam Charles/For the Sun-Times

A CTA bus driver who allegedly ran a red light and drove onto a crowded sidewalk near Michigan Avenue and Lake Street on Tuesday evening, leaving one woman dead and eight others injured, has been identified.

Donald Barnes, 48, was cited for failure to stop at a red light and failure to exercise due care, according to Chicago Police and the CTA.

Barnes, who has been with the CTA for less than a year, has not yet been disciplined by the transit agency.

“The CTA needs to complete its investigation before any employment action would be taken,” spokesman Jeff Tolman said Thursday morning.

Barnes is currently on injury leave, CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase said.

About 5:50 p.m. Tuesday, the No. 148 Clarendon/Michigan Express bus was eastbound on Lake Street when it crashed at Michigan Avenue.

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, east of Michigan.

No one except the driver was on the bus at the time, authorities said.

One pedestrian, Aimee Coath, 51, of 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.

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