Bus driver in fatal Kirkland crash could face charges

Bus driver in fatal Kirkland crash could face charges

Credit: KING

Bus driver in fatal Kirkland crash could face charges

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on May 14, 2014 at 1:58 PM

The Washington State Patrol Major Accident Investigation Team is recommending the King County Prosecutor file vehicular homicide charges against a Sound Transit driver in a crash that left two people dead in Kirkland last May.

The Washington State Patrol said the driver who failed to stop for a red light caused the collision that killed two Robert Rotta and Elizabeth Rotta and injured Kendall Rotta.
 
Driver Aleksandr Rukhlin was northbound I-405 exiting the transit ramp to NE 128th Street with 25 passengers aboard on May 6, 2013. 

WSP's Major Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) investigation revealed Rukhlin didn't noticeably slow down as he traveled up the exit ramp before entering the intersection at 45 mph and striking the SUV driven by Kendall Rotta, who had the green light.
 
Passengers on the bus reported yelling at the driver to stop the bus, but Rukhlin continued through the collision and back onto northbound I-405.  The bus travelled nearly three-quarters of a mile before passengers were able to intervene and assist in getting the bus stopped.

Investigators say it took one minute and 13 seconds for the bus to come to a complete stop after the collision occurred.
 
Rukhlin was cooperative throughout the investigation; results were negative for any signs of drug or alcohol impairment.
 
Kendall Rotta suffered a concussion and a fractured rib. His father, Robert Rotta, 76, was killed instantly. His mother, Elizabeth Rotta, 75, later died at Harborview Medical Center.
 
Detectives determined that neither vehicle, nor environmental factors, contributed to the cause of the crash. 

WSP's Major Accident Investigation Team is recommending the following charges: two counts of Vehicular Homicide, one count of Vehicular Assault, one count of Hit and Run with death.
 

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