Community Transit sued over boy's accident in Venice

Kelly Holleran Aug. 31, 2010, 2:00am


The mother of a minor boy has filed suit against the bus agency that she claims was responsible for her son getting struck by a car, leaving him in a coma for a week.

Tonya Branscomb claims her minor son, 16-year-old Darrin Branscomb, was riding a bus owned by Agency for Community Transit on May 31, 2008, when the incident occurred at 711 South Fourth St. near Granville Street in Venice.

"After the bus stopped, Plaintiff exited the bus and proceeded to cross South Fourth Street," the suit filed Aug. 18 in Madison County Circuit Court states. "Plaintiff was forced to cross behind the bus. An automobile traveling southbound on South Fourth Street struck Plaintiff severely injuring him."

The driver of the bus failed to stop at a marked bus stop, making it difficult for the driver of the car to realize that passengers would be disembarking from the bus and walking behind it, according to the complaint. In addition, Darrin Branscomb's view of the oncoming traffic was obscured by the bus, the complaint says.

Because of the accident, Darrin Branscomb suffered brain trauma, facial lacerations, a broken right shoulder and a broken right arm and he laid comatose for a week, his mother claims. In addition, he suffered injuries to his head, neck, arms, back, pelvis and legs; experienced severe pain and suffering; suffered psychological and emotional injury and lost the ability to earn wages in the futures, according to the complaint.

Following the collision, Tonya Branscomb incurred more than $250,000 in medical costs, plus additional damages of more than $50,000, the suit states.

The Branscombs blame Community Transit for allowing its bus driver to negligently fail to activate the mechanical and electrical signaling devices notifying drivers of passengers unloading, to fail to stop at a bus stop, to allow Darrin Branscomb to attempt to cross lanes of traffic, to alert motorists that they should proceed with caution and to fail to allow Darrin Branscomb to reach a safe place when letting him off the bus.

In their three-count suit, the Branscombs are seeking a judgment of more than $150,000, plus other relief the court deems just.
J. Brad Wilmoth of Brown and Crouppen in St. Louis will be representing them.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-860.

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