RTA bus driver who hit, fatally wounded woman in Public Square fired

Posted at 4:56 PM, Jan 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-28 20:51:52-05

The Regional Transit Authority has fired the bus driver who killed a woman last month as she legally crossed an intersection at Public Square. 

Bus driver Antoinette Peterkin was suspended following the Dec. 7 accident that resulted in the death of Joan Kuendig, according to an RTA news release.

Peterkin was terminated from her employment with RTA Monday. 

Kuendig, 69, was hit by the bus as it attempted to make a left-hand turn onto Rockwell Avenue, while she was legally crossing a marked crosswalk.

She was rushed to Metro Health Medical Center with serious head injuries. She died at the hospital. 

Following an investigation, the accident was found to be preventable. 

"The investigation confirmed that, while Ms. Peterkin did slow down when proceeding north on East Roadway, she failed to come to a complete stop prior to making the left turn onto Rockwell," the release said.

During a hearing regarding the incident, Peterkin expressed remorse for the death of Kuendig and her family and explained the crash was an accident, according to Peterkin's personnel file. 

RTA Union President Ronald Jackson said it's shame Peterkin had to be terminated. 

"It's a shame she has to be terminated for the fact that if the city had never closed the road, the accident would have never happened," Peterkin said. 

Before December collision with Kuendig, Peterkin was cited for two other incidents in 2016. 

On July 18, 2016, Peterkin was involved in an accident. While she was trying to move her bus out of the way of a police officer, she made contact with the mirror of another bus. That crash was found to be preventable. 

Three months later, Peterkin was operating a bus heading eastbound on Euclid when she made a left turn onto Doan Avenue, the personnel file said. During the turn, Peterkin made contact with the left rear side of a Chevy Trail Blazer. 

Peterkin received a second written reminder and was required to undergo retraining. 

Cleveland police are still investigating the December collision. 

RELATED: Woman hit by RTA bus in Public Square in Cleveland dies