Metro bus driver involved in deadly incident identified

Madison Metro not yet done with investigation
Metro bus driver involved in deadly incident identified

Madison Metro has identified the man who was driving a bus when it struck a man who later died Monday night.

Michael Sanchez has been a Metro Transit driver since 2002 and has a good driving record, according to a release from Madison Metro.

Police said a 68-year-old man was getting off the bus near East Washington Avenue and East Springs Street just before midnight when he fell into an area near the rear bus wheel and gutter. The bus driver stopped after the bus made contact and called police.

The man was pronounced dead at a hospital.

“Apparently there’s nothing this driver could have done to prevent what took place. It’s a traffic accident where we had someone who was intoxicated, someone who was drinking on the bus,” Madison police spokesperson Joel DeSpain said.

Bus video shows the man putting alcohol in his coffee on board, officials said. When he exited, he took several steps away from the bus, and then stumbled back into the path of the vehicle.

“We’re not out there actively patrolling the seats looking for that type of thing, but it’s not allowed on the bus, and if the driver does see it he will ask the person to pour it out or ask the police to come assist him,” Madison Metro spokesperson Mick Rusch said.

Police said they have had contact with the man in the past over alcohol issues.
Madison Metro said its investigation is not yet complete, but preliminary findings are consistent with the findings released by Madison police. Madison Metro’s investigation results are expected in the coming weeks.

Sanchez remains on paid administrative leave.