GRTC bus operator dies from COVID-19 complications

"Beloved" GRTC operator dies for COVID-19

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - GRTC announced that a bus operator has died due to the COVID-19 virus. The bus company says they were notified of the death last night.

John Thrower, 49, was admitted to a local hospital on Aug. 16, and later died on Sept. 23.

“Last night, I heard the heartbreaking news that John Thrower passed. He was a bright and beautiful soul, and I was always inspired by the positive light he cast here at GRTC,” GRTC Chief Executive Officer Julie Timm said in a statement. “I mourn this tragic loss to our family and our community and extend my deepest condolences to his family and to all who knew him.”

The company described Thrower as a “beloved GRTC bus operator since 2015.”

“We do extensive tracing and there’s nothing to suggest that he did or did not get it at GRTC,” said Julie Timm, CEO.

Timm says those who came in contact with John were put on paid leave, quarantined, and tested, all came back negative.

Thrower leaves behind a wife, a son and extended family members.

“It affected me to hear the pain in her voice as she was struggling to support John while he was going through this, and I talked to her this morning, and you could hear so much pain. He was so loved, he was so bright, and his character was so warm and his smile so bright.”

Free counseling is available to all GRTC employees and their families through GRTC’s Employee Assistance Program.

So far 20, GRTC employees have tested positive for coronavirus.

Just a reminder, GRTC requires every rider to wear a mask on the bus. There is also hand sanitizer available.

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