Marvin Webb dies in third RTD accident in four days

Update, 3:32 p.m.: As reported by the Colorado Daily, Marvin Webb has died from injuries sustained in a bus crash last night. This blog's headline and body copy has been changed to reflect this development; the original item, published at 2:58 p.m., appears below.

Another day, another terrible accident involving an RTD bus.

In a post yesterday, we recapped the damage resulting from two fatal RTD accidents over a three-day stretch. Then, last night, a bus in Lafayette struck Marvin Webb, 43, who was riding a bicycle. He died earlier today.

Scott Reed, RTD's assistant general manager of communications, says a just-completed accident analysis shows that this rash of tragedies is far from the norm. "Since 2007, including that year, RTD system-wide has been involved in one at-fault fatal accident up until the most recent stretch," he notes. "That's why this has been so unusual."

Reed's comment isn't meant to suggest that any conclusions have been reached in regard to the bus driver in Lafayette. According to Reed, yet another investigation is underway. Here's his account of what took place:

"At about 9:50 p.m. a Route DASH bus that was leaving the Lafayette park-and-ride turned left onto South Public Road," he says. "It had the green light -- and the bus collided with a bicyclist headed east on City Center Circle."

Currently, the driver -- an RTD employee, not a contract worker -- is on standard investigative suspension, and video from the bus has been turned over to the Lafayette Police Department. In the meantime, Reed says, "we are reviewing each of the accidents, as well as our recent accident history, to see if there is any type of a trend.

"The initial analysis shows that all three of these accidents are very different, but we want to see if there's any type of pattern, anything that indicates there is an issue that can be discovered."

As was the case yesterday, RTD managers have been dispatched to speak with drivers at pull-out. In addition, Reed says, "we have posters at all of the operating divisions reminding employees that safety is our number-one priority. And beginning next week, we are also starting a safety refresher training program for every bus operator, including our private contractors, that will reemphasize the safety training."

With luck, there won't be any more fatalities between now and then to discuss.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts