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Family Of Woman Fatally Struck By CTA Bus In Loop Files Lawsuit

(STMW) -- The family of a south suburban woman who was fatally struck by a CTA bus last week on a crowded sidewalk at Michigan Avenue and Lake Street has filed a lawsuit against the transit agency.

Aimee Coath, 51, was hit by the No. 148 Clarendon/Michigan Express bus just before 6 p.m. June 2, according to police, the CTA and the Cook County medical examiner's office.

Coath's daughter and son filed a two-count wrongful death suit on Monday against the CTA and the bus driver, whom the agency identified as 48-year-old Donald Barnes.


"One week ago, our mom was excitedly planning a wedding and arranging to take a trip to the East Coast to be with us. Instead, we buried her," a statement from the Coath family said. "We pray for our mom and we hope that others do not go through what our family must now endure forever."

Barnes, who has worked for the CTA for less than a year, was cited for failure to stop at a red light and failure to exercise due care, authorities said. He is currently on injury leave and has not yet been disciplined by the CTA, agency spokesman Jeff Tolman said Thursday.

"The CTA needs to complete its investigation before any employment action would be taken," Tolman said.

An agency spokeswoman said the CTA had not yet reviewed the suit and declined to comment on pending litigation.

The bus was initially stopped at a red light, but then proceeded through the light, striking two pedestrians and at least three other vehicles before jumping the curb, police said. The accordion-style bus came to rest on the sidewalk on the north side of Lake, east of Michigan.

No one except the driver was on the bus at the time, authorities said.

Coath, a Flossmoor resident, was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 6:07 p.m., authorities said. Eight other people, including Barnes, suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

The lawsuit seeks more than $100,000 in damages.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2015. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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