Victim is in serious condition after being struck on Pacific Highway
TIGARD - A 51-year-old Tigard woman remains in serious condition after being hit by a TriMet bus last week. Police said Sunday that the driver of that bus will not not face charges.
On Sunday, Tigard police concluded that the bus driver did not have enough time to stop before striking 51-year-old Zoe Meade as she crossed Pacific Highway just north of Walnut Street on the night of Thursday, Feb. 16, said Jim Wolf, a Tigard police spokesman.
Police said it was raining and dark when Meade began to cross the highway. Wolf said that Meade was wearing dark clothing and was not in a crosswalk at the time of the crash.
'All those elements, in hindsight, typically work negatively toward safety,' Wolf said.
Meade was reportedly about 30 to 50 feet from the nearest crosswalk at Walnut Street.
According to Wolf, Meade had crossed the highway to go to a convenience store and was walking back across the busy highway to rejoin her mother who was waiting on the other side.
Meade had cleared both southbound lanes when she was struck by a northbound bus at about 7:30 p.m.
'The bus was originally waiting at a traffic signal on Walnut Street,' Wolf said. 'Then when it turned green, he turned left on northbound (Highway) 99W.'
TriMet officials said that the bus driver, later identified as Tony Dauenhauer, 64, slammed on the brakes, but the vehicle did not stop in time to avoid her.
Meade was taken to Oregon Health and Science University with severe head injuries. She remains in serious condition.
All but one lane of the busy highway were closed for hours as Meade was taken to OHSU and police began their investigation.
The TriMet driver was placed on administrative leave after the crash.
Dauenhauer has worked for TriMet since 2006 and has a clean driving record.
TriMet officials said that he would be tested for intoxicants and the bus examined for maintenance issues as is standard procedure after a collision.
Wolf said that the decision to not issue a citation to the bus driver ends the department's investigation, but TriMet will continue its own internal investigation, said TriMet spokeswoman Mary Fetsch.
Fetsch said she wasn't sure when the bus driver would be back at work. He remains on paid administrative leave.
'We are moving through the process of accident review and the appeals process to see if this was a preventable accident,' Fetsch said.