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Police say woman killed by bus was "bumped" by bicyclist
Seattle Times staff reporter
A man arrested in connection with the death of a woman run over by a bus in downtown Seattle Wednesday night apparently "bumped" her while he was riding his bicycle, said police spokeswoman Debra Brown.
Shortly before 6:20 p.m., the woman, Betty Jean Simon, 46, was standing on Third Avenue, between Stewart and Virginia streets near Macy's, when the man rode by on the sidewalk and caused her to lose her balance. Simon fell into the street and was hit by two tires on the articulated Metro bus, Brown said.
Simon died at the scene.
After apparently striking Simon, the 53-year-old bicyclist waited around for about a minute before slowly riding south on Third Avenue, police said. Witnesses told police he was wobbling and may have been intoxicated.
Police caught up with the man after a witness chased after him and found him hiding behind a nearby trash bin, Brown said. The Seattle man was booked into the King County Jail on suspicion of manslaughter.
"We're looking at it as an accident," said Seattle Police spokesman Rich Pruitt. "It was a bump and a fall. She fell backward and died instantly."
Police are interviewing dozens of witnesses.
The man appeared in King County Superior Court today and was released pending any charges.
The woman driving the bus has been with King County Metro for only about a year. She was taken to Swedish Medical Center after the crash. She was shaken up, said Metro spokeswoman Linda Thielke.
As is routine after bus accidents, the driver of the 60-foot bus was tested for drugs and alcohol and placed on administrative leave, Thielke said. There were several passengers on the Route 358 bus bound for Shoreline, Pruitt said.
In 2003, a Seattle woman was struck and killed by a Metro bus near Southcenter mall in Tukwila.
And in 1997, a 67-year-old man was killed when he fell off a bus platform and under the wheels of an articulated bus in the downtown Seattle bus tunnel's Westlake Station, which was crowded with lunchtime passengers and people waiting to take a bus to a Mariners playoff game at the Kingdome.
Seattle Times staff reporters Sara Jean Green and Christine Clarridge contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company