A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against SamTrans, the public transit system that services the Peninsula, by the family of a woman who was killed by a SamTrans bus. The family has accused the agency of fitting the bus with “unsafe” headlights, which they believe led to the accident. The lawsuit was filed last Thursday and names multiple defendants, including the driver involved in the crash, SamTrans, and its contractor MV Transportation.
The allegations include claims that SamTrans and MV were “negligent in the maintenance of the bus, including the headlights.” The lawsuit also alleges that the headlights on SamTrans bus 448 “were unsafe,” “failed to properly illuminate the road,” and the “deficiencies were the cause of the collision which killed Sol Gloria.”
While SamTrans CEO and General Manager April Chan has defended the agency’s headlights, saying they meet industry safety standards and are checked daily, the Gloria family believes that there must be accountability. They have accused the driver of failing “to keep a proper lookout” and driving the bus “at an unsafe speed.” However, the police report does not cite the driver, Jimmy Maerina, for speeding, and states that Sol Gloria was at fault for the collision.
Sol Gloria had dementia, and while police and her family were looking for her, SamTrans bus 448 hit and killed her while she was walking in the middle of El Camino Real in the Menlo Park-Atherton area on June 29, 2022, around 1:20 a.m. The Gloria family alleges that SamTrans and MV Transportation have to change the headlights on their buses to prevent accidents like this from happening again.
NBC Bay Area reached out to MV Transportation for comment on the lawsuit, but they did not respond. SamTrans said they cannot comment on open litigation.