Durham County

GoDurham driver charged in pedestrian’s death

vbridges@heraldsun.com

mschultz@heraldsun.com

A GoDurham bus driver who fatally struck a 46-year-old man Monday has been charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle.

Rita Jones, 44, of Raleigh, was cited Thursday morning, police said.

The accident happened at 9:45 p.m. when the bus struck a pedestrian, Aaron Christopher Ryle of Durham, as he was walking across Enterprise Street at South Roxboro Street. Ryle was pronounced dead at the scene.

The bus was making a left turn onto Enterprise Street from the northbound lanes of South Roxboro Street when the incident happened. Jones and a male passenger on the bus were not injured.

That last fatality incident involving a Durham bus happened in September of 2004, GoTriangle spokesman Mike Charbonneau said Thursday.

Jones has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the full investigation. She has been driving for GoDurham for about a year and had no accidents or safety incidents before Monday night, Charbonneau said.

GoDurham checks driving records and work history on all operators before hiring them. Jones had no known incidents under her Commercial Driver License before joining GoDurham and completed all required safety training to drive, Charbonneau said.

“The GoDurham team is deeply saddened by this incident and our thoughts and prayers remain with Mr. Ryle’s friends and family as well as Ms. Jones,” he said.

Virginia Bridges: 919-829-8924, @virginiabridges

Mark Schultz: 919-829-8950; @HeraldSunEditor

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