No charges to be filed against Sound Transit bus driver in double-fatal crash

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The SUV that the Rottas were riding in when a Sound Transit bus crashed into them in May 2013. The couple died; their son survived.

SEATTLE (AP) — King County prosecutors say they won’t file criminal charges against a Sound Transit bus driver who killed two people when he rammed their car in Kirkland in 2013.

The bus ran a red light after exiting a freeway ramp and collided with a Ford Escape, killing Robert and Elizabeth Rotta and injuring their son.

Prosecutors say bus driver Aleksandr Ruklin was negligent, but there’s no evidence he was intentionally so, and a careful review suggests he accidentally stepped on the gas instead of the brake. They say the case doesn’t rise to the level of vehicular homicide.

In May, the Washington State Patrol, following its investigation, had recommended that vehicular homicide charges be filed against the bus driver.

The prosecutors said they also considered filing a felony hit-and-run charge because the bus didn’t stop for about three-quarters of a mile, but they said there’s no evidence the driver was trying to flee. They are referring the case to the King County District Court for the filing of traffic infractions.

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3 comments

  • Fritopie

    So he just hits a car after going though a red light, then drives 3/4’s of a mile away from the wreck scene before he finally stops. Clearly what he did was a Hit and Run he left the scene of a accident he caused, and you prosecutors say theres no evidence he was fleeing. I call bull shit on this. These prosecutors must be seriously stupid.

    • Smas Moht....

      He said the brakes failed on his bus, and it took it that long for it to stop, so how is that hit an run? Maybe it”s time to go back and finish that Facebook Law Degree of yours, Matlock…