GRTC employees and state workers in mourning

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - 55 year old state worker Loucendia Lambert was struck and killed at the intersection of 14th and Franklin. Investigators are still interviewing witnesses and reviewing video tapes of the accident taken from the bus. Meanwhile, the co-workers of everyone are distraught over the tragedy.

As GRTC buses continue to cross over the very place where Loucendia Lambert lost her life a group of state employees gathered to remember one of their own. They laid flowers on the curb and held hands.

"We just said a short prayer in remembrance. Just to think about her. She's a state worker she's our fellow sister. And it was just tragic," said state employee Margie Samardge.

They wiped tears for a woman many of them had never met.

"She's a sister. She's a friend. She represents every single one of us who walk this every day," state employee Kim Williams said.

"It was like, oh my god. That could have been me. Because I get off the bus right there," said Karen Johnson, state employee.

Loucendia Lambert died walking to her office at the State Health Department. Police have responded to 15 accidents here in the last fours. Yesterday's crash was the first fatality. These state workers tell us, this intersection can be dangerous.

"You have the green light with the traffic. Then you have the walk light for the pedestrians. All at the same time," said Williams.

Under Virginia law, pedestrians have the right a way when crossing at intersections at all times over vehicles making turns. GRTC's Chief Operating Officer spent the day making hourly reminders about safety to all his buses. In his 43 years with GRTC, he says this is the worst crash he can remember.

"It hit home hard. It hit home hard. I can't begin to express to you our sympathy for the victim. For the operator," said Eldridge Coles, GRTC's Chief Operating Officer.

Prosecutors say charges could be filed by the end of the week. Funeral arrangements for Loucendia Lambert are still being planned tonight.

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