Police: No charges in GRTC Pulse bus crash that killed 32-year-old woman

Updated: Nov. 7, 2019 at 10:45 AM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Police said there will be no charges in last month’s deadly collision involving a GRTC Pulse bus crash and pedestrian.

A 32-year-old woman was killed after being struck by a GRTC Pulse bus on Oct. 8 around 5 p.m. on Broad Street.

After an investigation, police said the victim, Alice E. Woodson, walked into a bus-only lane when she was struck. Investigators determined that the bus had the right-of-way and that the driver was not at fault.

“The GRTC family continues to mourn the loss of a beloved member of the community," said GRTC CEO Julie Timm. Our deepest sympathies are with her family and loved ones. We also continue to care for and support our bus operator and all our staff who witnessed and responded to the incident. This tragic accident will most certainly leave a lasting scar on my mind and on my heart.

Police said Woodson lived on Monument Avenue not far from where the crash occurred.

“I heard about what happened, and I didn’t know it was her at first," Woodson’s friend, Anna Grace Houtz, said. “Just the fact that it happened is horrible.”

Employees of stores on West Broad near Lombardy say they had gotten used to seeing Woodson’s smile. She was known for always saying hello as she passed by walking with her four dogs.

“She didn’t have a lot of people around her, but she had us. My coworkers and I, we loved her,” Houtz said. “We know where she came from. We know she didn’t have it easy, but she was so strong.”

A shoe sits in the road following a crash involving a GRTC bus on Tuesday.
A shoe sits in the road following a crash involving a GRTC bus on Tuesday.(Source: NBC12)

Houtz and other friends set up a memorial dedicated to Woodson outside of the Broad and Bowe Starbucks where she would order from every day.

“I want [people] to know that [Alice] was loved and that [Alice} was real and human," Houtz said. "I want people to know her name, and that she was a good person.”

Houtz said part of West Broad won’t be the same without Alice Woodson.

GRTC said it is reviewing video from the bus’ surveillance camera, and the driver is on leave pending an internal investigation.

“The entire GRTC Family is grieved by the accident today which took the life of a pedestrian, and our deepest condolences are with the pedestrian’s family,” GRTC said in a statement. “We are focused on the well-being of our operator who drove the bus and are ensuring they receive care. Per safety protocols, the Operator will be checked at a hospital.”

Eight passengers and a fare inspector were on the bus in addition to the driver. Only the fare inspector reported an injury.

Elizabeth Lamonica was on the bus and said she heard a thump and the driver started crying before calling emergency personnel.

“I saw our security guard fall to the floor and I stood up to see what was going on. All I could hear was my bus driver screaming ‘Oh my God, I hit somebody,’” she said.

This is the only fatal crash involving a GRTC bus this year. The bus involved was a 2007 model.

“GRTC is conducting a thorough internal review of safety procedures to determine if there are specific actions we may take or recommend to our partners to enhance public safety and to elevate awareness of safety needs within all of our mobility corridors,” said Timm.

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