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Witness Of Deadly DART Bus Accident Raises Questions

By Jack Fink, CBS 11 News
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A Dallas Area Rapid Transit bus sits at a bus station in downtown Dallas. (credit: Dallas Area Rapid Transit)

A Dallas Area Rapid Transit bus sits at a bus station in downtown Dallas. (credit: Dallas Area Rapid Transit)

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A man who witnessed a tragic accident at a DART stop last March said a police report contains different information than what he told investigators.

“I’m sure my daughter never thought when she stepped out, that would be her last stop.”

But unfortunately for Pamela Short, it was.

Her daughter, 34-year-old Christine Nail, died last March due in part to injuries she suffered while getting off a DART bus at a stop along Samuell Blvd. in East Dallas.

“She was gone when I got there,” Short said.

According to a DART police report, Nail got off the bus and was on the curb when she lost her balance. She tried to grab onto the moving bus and fell to the ground, hitting her head.

The report also claims Nail was clear of the bus, before it started moving.

But now there are new questions about what really happened at this bus stop last March. One of the witnesses said what’s inside the DART police report is not what he told investigators.

Wayne Blackmon witnessed the accident last year, and has since moved to Mobile, Ala.

“She never let go of the bus. My friend and I saw the same thing and we’ll tell you again and again. She never let go of the bus – the bus is what made her fall,” Blackmon said.

He said Nail was walking off the bus backwards, and had put one foot down on the ground.

“Before this foot could even get settled, the bus driver is pulling off and turning her around like this. She falls between the bus wheel – the back two wheels and the curb and hit her head,” Blackmon said.

He said the bus driver drove off, and never stopped.

“Even after she fell, and now you have ten people hollering at him, stop, stop, there’s something going on … he just zoomed right on off,” he added.

The DART police report says the bus driver wasn’t aware of the situation. An autopsy found Nail’s death was an accident, caused in part by blunt trauma.

She suffered a seizure, then a heart attack after she arrived at the hospital. Her mother has filed a lawsuit against DART.

“They need more training for safety. These people getting on these buses, they’re putting their lives in the hands of that man driving that bus or a woman,” Short said.

A DART spokesman declined comment on the lawsuit.

From 2007 to 2010, DART officials said there have been 84 bus-pedestrian accidents. CBS 11 filed a Freedom of Information Act request for how many times drivers were cited in those cases. DART then sent a letter to the state attorney general’s office objecting to the request.

CBS 11 is awaiting a ruling.

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