Cincinnati FD chaplain was driver of Metro bus that killed pedestrian
HYDE PARK, OH (FOX19) - Tyrone Patrick, a chaplain for the Cincinnati and Colerain Township fire departments, was the man driving the Metro bus that fatally struck a 73-year-old man and hospitalized his daughter Wednesday night.
The bus hit Stephen and Emily Frank as they crossed the Hyde Park Square intersection of Erie Avenue and Edwards Road around 7:30 p.m.
Stephen Frank was pronounced dead at the scene.
"The accident is clear, kind of clear, however there are still some questions that we're asking witnesses," said Cincinnati Police Lt. Bruce Hoffbauer.
Police said Patrick made an improper turn into an intersection.
Impairment, reckless driving and excessive speeds do not appear to be factors in the crash, Hoffbauer said. The incident is considered accidental at this point, but the investigation is ongoing.
Hoffbauer said investigators will look into whether or not the driver was distracted. The bus will be inspected to ensure a mechanical issue did not cause the crash.
The 57-year-old driver, who has been with Metro for 10 years, submitted a blood sample to officials and is fully cooperative in the investigation.
The Hyde Park Square area is described by police as walkable and pedestrian-friendly.
Stephen and Emily were inside the marked crosswalk when the bus turned East onto Erie, police said. They had just finished eating at a nearby restaurant.
"There doesn't seem to be anything that was obstructing the view of the pedestrians or the bus. Traffic was kind of light, not a lot of vehicle or pedestrian traffic at that time. As soon as the accident happened the bus did stop," said Hoffbauer.
Emily Frank, 41, was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries, Cincinnati police said. She was listed in stable condition early Thursday.
She owns C'est Cheese Food Truck and founded the Cincinnati Food Truck Association.
Curtis Bonekemper, an association member, says Emily and her father were close.
"From everything that I've gathered they were extremely tight, the whole family was. I think this is probably the worst day of their lives," Bonekemper said.
Patrick was also taken to the hospital to be treated for shock.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families affected by last night's accident," said Jason Dunn, chairman of the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) board that operates Metro, in a statement Thursday morning.
"A thorough investigation is underway, and we are cooperating fully with the Cincinnati Police Department."
No passengers were on the bus at the time of the accident. Hyde Park Square was shut down late Wednesday while police investigated.
Witnesses to the accident who have not talked with police are asked to come forward.
Once the investigation is complete, the findings will be submitted to the county prosecutor.
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