Family of woman fatally struck by CTA bus in Loop files lawsuit

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The family of the woman who was killed when a CTA bus went onto a downtown sidewalk has filed a lawsuit. | Sam Charles/For the Sun-Times

The family of a south suburban woman who was fatally struck by a CTA bus last week on a crowded downtown sidewalk has filed a lawsuit against the transit agency.

Aimee Coath, 51, was hit at Michigan Avenue and Lake Street by theNo. 148 Clarendon/Michigan Express bus just before 6 p.m. June 2, according to police and the CTA.

Coath’s daughter and son filed a two-count wrongful death suit on Monday against the CTA and the bus driver, whom the agency identified as 48-year-old Donald Barnes.

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Aimee Coath’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit. | Facebook

“One week ago, our mom was excitedly planning a wedding and arranging to take a trip to the East Coast to be with us. Instead, we buried her,” a statement from the Coath family said. “We pray for our mom and we hope that others do not go through what our family must now endure forever.”

Barnes, who has worked for the CTA for less than a year, was cited for failure to stop at a red light and failure to exercise due care, authorities said. He is currently on injury leave and has not yet been disciplined by the CTA, agency spokesman Jeff Tolman said last week.

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

An agency spokeswoman said the CTA had not yet reviewed the suit and declined to comment on pending litigation.

The bus, eastbound on Lake, had initially stopped at a red light at Michigan, then proceeded through the light, striking two pedestrians and at least three other vehicles before jumping the curb, 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.

Coath, a Flossmoor resident, was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 6:07 p.m., authorities said. Eight other people, including Barnes, suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

The lawsuit seeks more than $100,000 in damages.

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