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NEW CASTLE Attempting to cross street, woman dies after bus hits her



Published: Tue, July 16, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Firefighters were called to help lift the bus off the victim.

NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- A woman trying to cross Jefferson Street died after being hit by a New Castle Transit Authority bus.

Russell S. Noga, the Lawrence County coroner, said an autopsy was planned today at Ellwood City Hospital on Gertrude Byler, 41, of Park Avenue, New Castle.

Police Lt. Thomas Macri said Byler stepped from the curb at the intersection of Grove and Jefferson streets about 1:45 p.m. Monday when she was hit by the bus which was turning left.

The bus driver's view was apparently blocked by a semi-truck that was turning before him. Witnesses said the bus driver and the woman could not have seen each other until just before impact, police said.

Firefighters were called to help lift the bus with wooden blocks as paramedics pulled the Byler from underneath. She apparently died before they could free her from under the bus, police added.

Testing driver

Leonard Lastoria, transit authority director, said the 43-year-old driver was shaken up by the crash and was taken to the hospital for standard drug testing, which is done after any accident.

He said the bus was heading for the transit authority's transfer station at the Cascade Galleria. It was set to go back to the city's east side after that stop, he noted.

Lastoria said buses continued running on schedule after the accident. The bus involved in the accident was to be tested by state police for equipment failure and other standard tests before it will be released back to the transit authority, he said.

There were about 10 passengers on the bus when the accident occurred.




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