Scene of deadly crash getting much-needed safety improvements - 8 News NOW

Scene of deadly crash getting much-needed safety improvements

Posted: Updated:
Sept. 12, 2012 Sept. 12, 2012

LAS VEGAS -- A bus stop where four people were killed in a crash nearly two years ago is about to get a makeover to increase safety for riders.

In early morning hours of September 13, 2012, a drunk driver slammed his car into the bus stop on Spring Mountain Road and Decatur Boulevard.

At the time, the bus stop didn't have a bus shelter, but that is about to change.

Groundbreaking for two bus shelters in at the corner is set for Wednesday. It is something bus riders say should have been done a long time ago.

On the day of the accident, Mario Pena was supposed to take an early bus to work at the Spring Mountain Road and Decatur Boulevard stop.

"I usually come up this way but I ended up taking a different route," Pena said.

That decision may have saved his life.

"I am just blessed and I feel bad for the families that have to go through that," Pena said.

Four people were killed and five others were hurt that morning when Gary Lee Hosey, Jr. slammed his car into the bus stop. Hosey eventually pleaded guilty to five counts of felony DUI.

Despite the outcry about the lack of shelters at the stop and that the stop was too closed to the curb, nothing was done because it was on private land. To build a shelter and move it back, the Regional Transportation Commission needed help from the landowner.

Carl Scarborough with the RTC says his agency recently received permission to use private land near the bus stop to push back the new shelters 10 feet from the curb.

RTC says the goal is to make that a standard for as many bus stops as possible but getting local businesses to agree to donate land has been difficult.

"Fortunately in this country, the government can't just come and take your land but when it comes to safety and trying to move shelters back, we have to be more cooperative to work with the business community," Scarborough said.

"I was almost taken out a few times with cars coming on the curb." bus rider Anthony Miranda said.

Miranda says pushing back the bus stops is a good idea, but drivers also have to be more careful.

"You don't know this could be your kids waiting for the bus," Miranda said.

As for Mario Pena, this lesson hit too close to home and he hopes this latest safety effort will end up saving lives.

"Hopefully these go up at all bus stops in Las Vegas, that would be awesome," Pena said.

Last year, the city of Las Vegas pledged $1 million to help the RTC buy land from business owners within city limits to help push back more bus stops. So far, the RTC says this project still has not gotten underway.

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