TANK bus driver charged months after crash that killed runner

Surveillance video shows the driver would have known he hit the man, authorities say.
Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 9:13 PM EDT
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COVINGTON, Ky. (WXIX) - A bus driver is facing charges after his bus hit and killed a runner in March.

Dennis Rahtz, 38, was running around 12:30 p.m. on March 10 when he was hit by a Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky bus at the intersection of 4th Street and Scott Street, Covington police said.

Rahtz was in a crosswalk when he was hit.

Police previously said the bus and Rahtz reached the intersection at the same time.

They also said the bus driver, Howard Sampson, did not stop, as he was unaware that he had even hit someone. Officers said they did not even know a TANK bus was at fault for several hours afterward because Sampson kept driving.

Kenton County Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Sanders says video evidence from surveillance cameras and cameras onboard the bus shows Sampson would have seen that he’d hit someone.

“Mr. Rahtz is visible the entire two blocks the bus travels in various parts,” Sanders explained. “He passes in front of the bus, then the bus passes him, then he catches up to the bus. You see him running in the entire video.”

Thursday morning, a Kenton County grand jury indicted Sampson for leaving the scene of an accident involving a death.

“They declined to indict Mr. Sampson for reckless homicide but they did believe there was probable cause he knew that he hit someone and that collison was likely to have resulted in someone’s death,” Sanders said.

TANK released a statement after the crash noting Sampson was cooperating fully with the investigation and that he had been placed on paid leave.

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