CITY HALL — The family of a man who was killed last year after a collision with a Big Blue Bus has filed a lawsuit against City Hall and the bus driver.
Filed in Los Angeles Superior Court by Donald and Martha O’Dell, it claims that their son, Patrick O’Dell, who was riding a motorcycle on Sunset Boulevard, was struck and killed by a Route 9 bus that was turning onto Sunset Boulevard from Marquez Avenue. They are asking for an unspecified amount of money.
This lawsuit is one of 12 accident-related suits filed against BBB in the past 12 months, city officials said. There were six non-accident lawsuits — situations where passengers fell while on a bus — filed against BBB during that time.
As the Route 9 bus made a left onto Sunset, attempting to head north, it crossed into the southbound lane where O’Dell, who was 25, was driving, the suit claims. The bus and the motorcycle collided resulting in O’Dell’s death.
“The family is devastated and the case is just beginning now, and it’s not a death that should have happened,” said the family’s attorney, Conor Kelly.
Police on scene said that speed was the main factor in the accident, according to a 2012 article in the Pacific Palisades Patch. Witnesses, the article said, saw O’Dell run a red light.
The lawsuit alleges that their son was “riding his motorcycle in a lawful and reasonable manner and obeying all rules of the road.”
It names Timothy Datryn Thrash as the driver of the bus and claims he drove “carelessly and negligently” and that he was “negligently hired, trained, educated, and supervised” by BBB.
BBB officials were not able to comment for this story.
The suit further alleges that the intersection lacks proper pavement markings, signage, traffic controls, turn lanes, light timing, and more, creating a “trap.” BBB knew of the hazards, the suit alleges.
In March, the Daily Press reported that the Department of Transportation removed a “bus exempt” sign at the location from which Thrash allegedly made the turn. BBB officials had to scramble to create a detour for the area, the article said, and ultimately submitted an alternative route to the DOT.
Officials said the change was not the result of any accident occurring in the area, and that they had “been looking to make a change for some time” to combat tardiness on the route. DOT’s approval of the new route was pending at the time and BBB officials would not say whether the route had changed.
Route 9, according to a BBB route map that is not very detailed, appears to now take Sunset, rather than Marquez, to the intersection in question.