Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 8th, 2009 at 11:47 am
“TriMet’s agreement to pay the maximum amount of damages that TriMet believes it owes proves that Austin’s death was the result of a bus driver’s carelessness.”
— Stephanie Miller, Austin Miller’s mother
The Oregonian’s Aimee Green is reporting that Austin Miller’s parents have reached a settlement with TriMet for $200,000.
Austin Miller died on February 11, 2008 (at the age of 15) when he and a TriMet bus collided near the intersection of SW Murray and SW Farmington Road in Beaverton.
Here’s a snip from The O:
The settlement comes as vindication for the parents of Austin Miller, who had agonized over a Beaverton police investigation that eventually concluded the boy made a right-hand turn without stopping and crashed into the side of the bus as it pulled to a stop…
Police investigator Jeffrey M. DeBolt concluded two months later that “this crash was unavoidable” for the driver.
The Oregonian goes on to report that the attorney for Austin’s parents “proved that Mann [the bus operator] saw Miller before she struck him and that she could have avoided hitting him with the bus as she crossed into the bike lane.”
“I thought I gave (him) enough room, and I was pulling over to stop,” Mann told a TriMet dispatcher, seconds after the accident.
And here’s what Stephanie Miller (Austin’s mom) said in a news release this morning:
“TriMet’s agreement to pay the maximum amount of damages that TriMet believes it owes proves that Austin’s death was the result of a bus driver’s carelessness…Nothing will bring Austin back, but we hope that this settlement will heighten public awareness of the need to respect bicyclists riding in their bike lanes.”
In April of 2008, the Beaverton Police Department found no facts to support that the bus operator committed any criminal or traffic violations in the collision. Austin’s parents were disappointed in the investigation and filed a $2 million lawsuit against TriMet in June 2008.
Austin’s death raised questions about the safety of the intersection and it led to series of bike safety initiatives between TriMet and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA).
— See our past coverage of the Austin Miller crash in the archives.
[Thanks to reader Todd P. for the heads up on this story.]