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Megabus sued by family of Donna Halstead, woman struck and killed by bus in downtown Chicago

Friday, August 10, 2012

The Megabus Company is being sued by the family of Chicago woman who was struck and killed by one of their vehicles earlier this week.

Seventy-six-year old Donna Halstead died when she was rundown on Tuesday in the West Loop area. The victim's daughter and son held a news conference Friday with their attorney to discuss the lawsuit.

Halstead was a long-time legal assistant who for years worked for Mary Ann McMorrow, the former Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice.

On Friday, Halstead's children said their mother was a stickler for the law.

"She loved everything about rules," said Halstead's daughter, Mary Beaver. "That's why I can guarantee you my mother was one of those you go to the light, you cross with the light, you stay in the crosswalk."

On Tuesday, Halstead was crossing Adams Street at Canal, mere yards from her apartment building, when police say she was struck by a left-turning Megabus.

"Great legacy and real proud to be her son and hurting pretty hard," said Halstead's son, Dave Rubino.

Police cited the driver, 32-year-old Shemeka Hudson, for failing to yield to a pedestrian.

And on Friday, the Halstead family's attorney disputed claims that Halstead was struck only by the bus's mirror.

"Our early investigation has indicated that the initial impact may have been the actual front of the bus," said attorney Daniel Kotin.

After Halstead's daughter was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, her mother became a tireless advocate.

"She made it her business to volunteer her time there because she said, 'if anything new would be out there to find, I'm going to be on the inside,'" Beaver said.

The lawsuit comes on the heels of a deadly Megabus accident last week near St. Louis.

Earlier this week, a Megabus caught fire in Georgia, though no one was injured.

And just a day after Halstead died, her family's attorney settled a separate lawsuit involving another pedestrian killed by a left-turning Megabus.

Friday, that attorney cited an expert who says large coach buses have a significant blind spot.

"If the pedestrian is walking across the street at the same pace that the bus is turning, that pedestrian can be in the blind spot of the bus driver through the entire turn," Kotin said.

In a statement Friday, the head of Megabus had no comment on the lawsuit but said the company's thoughts and prayers go out to Hallstead's family.

Funeral arrangements at this time are pending.

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