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Only On: Family left searching for answers months after 24-year-old son struck and killed by MTA bus

Family demanding answers after 24-year-old son struck and killed by MTA bus in Palos Verdes
Family demanding answers after 24-year-old son struck and killed by MTA bus in Palos Verdes 02:43

A mother is left demanding answers after her 24-year-old son was fatally struck by a Los Angeles County bus back in August, leaving him on the side of the road as it continued on to its next stop.

Shawna Landon, the daughter of well-known actor Michael Landon, makes weekly visits to the lasting memorial site for her son, Dylan Lupia, on the side of Palos Verdes Boulevard, where he was hit by a Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Aug. 17 at around 7:30 p.m. 

Lupia, who is remembered by his family for his devout love for his sisters and baseball, was walking on the side of the road that evening when the collision occurred. His body was found by two separate motorists driving through the area some time later.  

The driver never stopped to help, continuing on route for more than a mile and a half until reaching the next scheduled bus stop. 

Landon is desperately searching for an answer as to why the driver left her son lying on the side of the road. 

"I lost a child, and I don't think it's natural, ever, to lose a child," she said. "You're supposed to go before them."

Through a series of investigations, Landon and her attorney have learned that Dylan was walking inside of the bike lane, with the bus heading towards him. 

"It just doesn't make sense that a bus driver didn't see a human being walking whose 6'1", 170 pounds, walking towards the bus in complete daylight," she said, noting that she, along with several family members have driven the route often, trying to find answers. 

"There's no blind spots."

Landon's attorney has reached an agreement with MTA officials to obtain both black box data and video from the nine cameras on the bus.

She's hopeful that the new information will help give her answers as to why the driver failed to help her son. 

"He didn't stop," she said. "He didn't call 911. He pulled over in the next bus stop and claimed that he was vandalized."

According to Landon, there was one passenger on the bus at the time of the incident, and she's hopeful that they can come forward to offer additional information and provide answers to what happened to Dylan. 

"I think he just deserves a voice that he no longer has," Landon said. "As his mom, I want answers."

When approached for response, Metro officials issued a statement, which read in part: 

"Metro extends our thoughts and prayers to the family of Dylan Lupia during this difficult time. We are continuing to work closely with our law enforcement partners and our internal team to investigate this tragic bus accident and determine exactly what occurred."

After CBS ran this report, Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn sent a letter to Stephanie Wiggins, the Chief Executive Officer of MTA, which read: 

"I am writing you regarding the Metro bus-involved collision that occurred the evening of Wednesday, August 17, in Rancho Palos Verdes along Palos Verdes Drive South between Hawthorne Boulevard and Terranea Way. 

The bus crash took the life of a 24-year-old young man named Dylan Lupia. His mother, Shawna Landon, now says that the Metro bus operator did not stop or call 9-1-1 when the collision occurred, and instead drove over a mile to the next Metro bus stop. She has been asking questions about how this could have happened and why her son was left to be found by passing motorists.

I cannot imagine the pain this mother is going through. As a member of the Metro Board of Directors, I am asking for a full accounting for what happened to Dylan. We need to understand the circumstances surrounding this tragedy and ensure that the appropriate parties are held responsible. 

As part of the October 27, 2022 Metro Board meeting, I would ask that you please update us on this tragedy and the steps being taken as a response to it. Thank you."

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