'Worst thing I've seen in my life': Durham bus crashes into pole, strikes pedestrian

'Worst thing I've seen in my life': Durham bus crashes into pole, strikes pedestrian

DURHAM, N.C. — Durham police are investigating a fatal crash involving a bus and woman on the sidewalk at the bus station at 515 West Pettigrew Street.

The crash happened shortly after 12:30 p.m. on Thursday as a GoDurham bus was pulling into Gate A at the bus station. The bus jumped the curb and struck a woman who was standing on the sidewalk, according to investigators.

The woman, Lawanda Gail Rigsbee, 56, of Durham, was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead a short time later. The driver of the bus was taken to the hospital for treatment of serious injuries.

Rigsbee's mother was reportedly standing right beside her at the time.

Brandon Ruffin, who was waiting for the bus at the time, said, "I was coming out of the building. It happened so fast. I just saw the bus move and hit the pole, and I didn't realize that it was a lady that was hit until after I had gotten outside."

The Durham bus driver lost control, possibly due to a medical emergency, striking a pole and a woman who was walking past at the moment, according to witnesses.

He described the crash as "traumatic."

"That was probably the worst thing I've ever seen in life. In front of me. Just to see her laying there, unresponsive," he said.

Andrew Holland, who was working at a table near the crash, said he heard a loud boom and then glass was everywhere.

"All of a sudden I heard this loud sound – maybe 30 yards away from me. And saw a lady on the ground. She really wasn't moving at all," he said.

Both Ruffin and Holland told WRAL News they thought the driver had some kind of medical issue. Officials have not confirmed whether that was the case.

"She started shaking really bad and her foot let up off the brake – and she went into the pole while the lady was walking through at the same time," Ruffin said.

WRAL's Sky 5 flew over the scene soon after the crash and was able to see the bus crashed into the pole, with the front window shattered all over the sidewalk. The scene was described as "bloody."

Several police and medics had arrived, and the area was blocked off with crime scene tape.

The crash remains under investigation.

(originally posted May 20th 2021 - https://www.wral.com/worst-thing-i-ve-seen-in-my-life-durham-bus-crashes-into-pole-strikes-pedestrian/19688194/)


Speak With Our Firm Today

Initial Consultations Are Complimentary & Confidential
    • Please enter your name.
    • This isn't a valid phone number.
    • Please enter your email address.
      This isn't a valid email address.
    • Please make a selection.
    • Please enter a message.