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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Unconscious woman rides Echo Park bus for two hours before 911 is called *

Jamie Goodwin and her two daughters boarded a Dash bus Monday afternoon on their way home to Echo Park when she noticed a passenger in the middle of the bus was slumped face-forward and had passed out in her seat. Goodwin and the other passengers exchanged alarmed glances as the driver of the northbound bus that runs between Echo Park and Pico-Union allowed passengers to board through the back door to avoid contact with the unconscious woman, who had vomited on herself.  “I was looking for signs of life from this woman, wondering how long this had been going on,” said Goodwin, who grew upset after the driver said she had reported the unsconsious passenger to her dispatcher about two hours earlier and was awaiting assistance.  That’s when Goodwin and her daughters got off  the bus on Echo Park Avenue and she called 911. A fire department ambulance arrived within minutes at the Dash bus turnaround at Echo Park Avenue and Donaldson Street and transported the woman to a hospital.

Today, a spokesman for city’s Department of Transportation said the city will impose a financial penalty on the contractor – MV Transportation – that operates the bus in light of “unacceptable performance.”  James Lefton, who oversees the city’s Dash bus operations, said: “They should have called 911 immediately.”

People familiar with the incident say the rider, described as an African-American woman with a walker, was a frequent Dash bus rider who fell asleep on the bus. That might explain the lack of urgency on the part of the driver and bus company staff to seek immediate medical attention.

The woman is expected to be released soon from a hospital, where she is in stable condition after being treated for high blood pressure.

Judie Smith, MV Transportation Regional Vice President for Southern California, said the employees involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave pending the results of an internal investigation.  “MV Transportation Inc. takes the safety of our passengers very seriously and regrets this unfortunate incident.”

Goodwin, 36, who rides the Dash bus about three to five times a week, said she was left shaken by the experience.

“By the time I got to my house with my little girls, we heard sirens coming. I would have waited at the Echo Park turn-a- round (for the Dash) but it was too much to witness with my two little girls,” Goodwin said. I was just glad to hear the sirens and see them pass so quickly.

* This story has been updated with a statement from MV Transportation.



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21 comments

  1. Jeezy H Christy-Christ

    that’s what your 50 cents gets you nowadays …

  2. OPINIONATED OLD LADY SEZ

    Dear Ms. Goodwin:

    What a lovely, caring person you are! In addition to helping someone in distress, you taught your young daughters a lesson in compassion . . . a lesson one hopes they will never forget.

  3. Agree, good to model that behavior to your daughters.

    My understanding is that bus drivers aren’t allowed to get involved with the passengers – at least that’s what the driver told me on the 200 line years ago when my seatmate (who had me trapped against the window) lit up a crack pipe …

    • I doubt that driver was telling the truth. I can’t believe such a policy could be approved.

      • So what you are saying is that the driver has the authority to physically detain or physically remove a passenger? No. At least not with serious legal consequences not to mention placing their life in danger which I’m guessing doesn’t come close being worth it given their hourly wage. Someone lights up a crack pipe next to you, get up and move and/or call 911, it’s called taking personal responsibility.

  4. I hope the passenger is OK. She could have died!

  5. Are the buses that unsanitary that someone slumped over in vomit looks normal? I can understand falling asleep, but the rest, really?

  6. This goes for child abuse as well, and I mean more than a swat on the behind. PLEASE call 911 if someone is abusing their child on a bus. The bus driver won’t do anything.

    • Why should the driver do anything? Isn’t he/she is supposed to be driving the bus? Why would you assume that the driver has any authority over the crack heads and child abusers the board their bus?

  7. @ Brandon. yes, in fact that is the case.

  8. Couple years ago I saw a pantsless gent on this same line.

  9. Amazing how many people could be on this bus, including Mrs. Goodwin (and her traumatized daughters) and not one of them took the initiative to call 911 themselves. Maybe LADOT should establish a policy that no sleeping is allowed on their services , that certainly would solve the problem of regular passengers falling asleep and traumatizing all the children on board whose parents are telling them that they might be DEAD! BTW, I’m guessing that had the driver put the vehicle out of service, Mrs. Goodwin would be complaining that she was forced to get of the bus, wait for another bus, and was late getting home and her daughters were tired and grouchy.

  10. Well I must agree with the last statement that Ms. Goodwin, would’ve been upset because she had to wait for another bus. In fact this woman had previously rode the Dash and fell asleep or woke up disoriented. If this woman has special needs then she must ride with caregiver assistant. LADOT also has transportation for people with special needs also access services are available. In concern to Judy Smith, Regional Vice President for Southern California Mv Transportation employees on administrative leave is incorrect. I have received a lead that only one employee is on administrative leave and will get blamed for the whole incident. When the driver choose to continue driving the bus instead of being persistant of requesting medical attention for the woman and no supervisor ever showed up to assist the driver and the woman.

    • I feel that they shouldn’t allow this woman to be on the street alone. She is threat to herself. The driver shouldn’t have to be blamed she is not responssible for babaysitting anyone on the bus.

  11. the dash drivers are very rude and the female that was driving was african american, she always has a bad attitude in fact all of them. I catch the dash at trade tech and there are times we have had to wait 30 minutes while six drivers gather around and smoke cigs and talk on the phone. they call the hispanics roaches and rats that is so foul. maybe this will be an eye opener and they willl have more compassion

  12. I have been a driver with MV in a neighboring town for many years as well as having worked for other agencies and contractors. 1) From my experience…there are dispatchers who carry through and many that don’t! 2)It’s true we’re advised not to physically handle anybody that’s so that there’s no complaint’s. 3)If someone does fall asleep and the operator see’s it or is informed by a passenger they are to attempt to get the sleeping passenger’s attention without referring to them in any way that could embarass them. 4)If the Operator contacted the Dispatcher about the incident and there was no response back from the Dispatcher within a reasonable period of time then the operator can either ask someone to make the call if no one has yet or the operator can stop and make the call themself.
    Usually it’s been my experience that someone has already called!

  13. This was a sad incident, however, it seems to be just the tip of the iceberg. Please check
    out “dash incident may 13” on you tube.

    • It’s really bad what those dash drivers have to go through, they catch hell from those passengers. They don’t like to pay the fare and always have a damn excuse of why they can’t pay. If you want the service pay the damn fare and stop giving the drivers a hard time and being racist towards the black drivers. I ride everyday and i see what goes on they are out there to do a job and the passengers make it a very hard. I could not do that job because i would lose my cool, i would make everybody get the hell off of my bus and i would take off. That lady has an addiction im sorry that happen to her but where are the people that take care of her, the drivers can not baby sit the passengers and driver too. Damn give them break. The city needs to come and watch how the passengers treat the drivers because the passengers are not always right!!!!

  14. anacleto u uploaded that video on may 13, u and sergio need to stop
    harrasing the drivers everybody knows who you two are. maybe if you wouldn’t
    Drive on sergios bus all day you wouldn’t have problems with the drivers

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