NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Metro police describe the death of a man hit by a WeGo bus Thursday morning on Eighth Avenue South as a “tragic accident.”
In a news conference shortly after the incident, police spokesperson Don Aaron said the 54-year-old man was walking on a sidewalk near Gleaves Street around 8:30 a.m. As the front of the bus passed him, Aaron said the man stumbled into the road and was run over by the rear tires of the bus.
The man was pronounced dead on the scene. He was identified as Michael Owens and Aaron said the 54-year-old was “well-known in the homeless community.”
While the bus driver showed no signs of impairment, he will be tested to ensure drugs or alcohol were not in his system at the time of the crash, Aaron explained, calling it “routine procedure” in a case such as this.
WeGo Transit issued a statement, which reads:
“The entire WeGo family is devastated by this morning’s accident and wants to extend our deepest condolences to the victim’s family and loved ones, and to our bus operator,” said WeGo Public Transit CEO Steve Bland. “Safety is our number one priority, not just for our passengers on board but for everyone in Nashville alongside our buses. We will be reviewing what happened this morning to determine whether there are any steps to be taken to further decrease the chances of accidents like this occurring in the future so we can ensure the continued safety of all pedestrians in Nashville.”