WSP finds no problems with the brakes on bus that killed Kirkland couple

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by NATALIE SWABY / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @NSwabyKing5

KING5.com

Posted on June 13, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 13 at 10:47 PM

KIRKLAND, Wash. - The Washington State Patrol said they found no mechanical issues with a Sound Transit bus that collided with an SUV, causing two people to die last month.

Phil Rotta still has many questions about the death of his parents, Bob and Betty. 

"We definitely miss them, and there is certainly a hole in our lives without them," said Phil.

Fresh flowers and notes of sympathy fill his house.

"We have received them from family, friends, even people who were passengers on the bus," he said.

The bus is a big focus of an investigation into the deadly May 6th crash in a Kirkland intersection.

Phil's brother, Ken Rotta, was behind the wheel that night and his parents were passengers.

"It has been a little bit of a rollercoaster on the emotions, but we are getting through it," said Ken.

Witnesses said the bus driver went through a red light, hit Ken's SUV, and kept going. The bus came to a stop nearly 3900 feet away from the crash. 

The bus driver told detectives the brakes were not working. But today the Washington State Patrol released new information. In a press release, Lt. Shane Nelson wrote, "Investigators evaluated the acceleration, braking, and steering systems... they found no mechanical issues with the bus."

"What actually happened, how did it happen, why did it happen," asked Ken. "Is there something they can do to prevent it from happening to somebody else?"

Answers are what the Rotta family wants, but they know it will take time.

"I think it is important to be thorough on this and we will continue to be patient and wait for the outcome," said Phil

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