The Washington State Patrol (WSP) says that several mechanical inspections of the Sound Transit bus involved in a fatal bus accident in Kirkland last month revealed that there were no mechanical issues with the brakes, according to a Seattle Times article published Thursday.
The announcement contradicts statements made by the bus driver, who claimed that the brakes failed when he attempted to stop the bus. You may remember that the bus flew through a red light, crashed into a Ford Escape SUV – which was occupied by Robert and Elizabeth Rotta – and continued on down the highway for almost a mile before coming to a stop.
The bus driver involved in the accident, who has been identified as Aleksandr Rukhlin of Everett, reportedly passed all toxicology tests after the accident according to WSP officials. Investigators also found that the roadway and all traffic signals were in good working order at the time of the accident.
Immediately following the accident, Sound Transit released a report from a routine inspection conducted a week earlier highlighting complaints that the bus in question pulled to the right when the driver applied the brake. A mechanic looked into the issue and found no mechanical issues, and the brake pads were thick enough to pass the minimum standard.
There were no additional details regarding upcoming investigations, and we will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as we can.