WILMINGTON — A Wilmington man claiming he was struck by a bus on his moped has filed suit against WAVE and one of its bus drivers, as well as the city of Wilmington and New Hanover County.
Last month, John Samuel Baker filed suit in New Hanover Superior Court, alleging that negligence on the part of a WAVE bus driver led to an accident located on UNCW’s campus.
According to his complaint, the incident occurred on January 12, 2016, at approximately 10:57 a.m. Baker alleges that while driving on his moped along Price Drive, a WAVE bus driver attempted to pull into the UNCW Teal Terminal and struck him.
According to his complaint:
“Defendant Doreen E. Johnson attempted to turn left into Burney Loop public vehicular area and crossed over the center line of the road, directly into the path in front of the Plaintiff’s vehicle, and struck the Plaintiff’s vehicle head-on.
Baker’s suit alleges that Johnson was negligent in several ways, including a failure to yield, making “a dangerous, unsafe movement with her vehicle without first seeing that such a movement could be made in safety,” crossing the center line, and failing “to act as an ordinary, reasonable and prudent” driver would act under similar circumstances.
Baker’s suit claims he suffered “serious, painful, and upon information and belief, permanent bodily injuries,” and incurring medical expenses and lost wages. The suit does specify the exact damages, only that they exceed $25,000.
An incident report from the UNCW campus police confirms there was a crash on January 12, 2016, indicating the WAVE bus struck Baker head-on, resulting in severe damage to his moped and “apparent minor injuries.”
The incident report also notes that Johnson was cited for turning without looking to see if it was safe; Baker was also cited for driving an unregistered vehicle and failure to wear a helmet.
In addition to Johnson, and WAVE (a.k.a. Cape Fear Public Transportation Authority), the suit also names Wilmington and New Hanover County, which merged two earlier public transit programs to create a joint system in 2003 and 2004.
New Hanover County Attorney Wanda Copley and Wilmington City Attorney John Joye both declined to comment. WAVE Executive Director Albert Eby also declined to comment, and did not respond to questions about whether Johnson was still an employee of WAVE or if she had been disciplined for any incident resembling the one described in Baker’s suit.
In a hand-written response filed at the end of October, a defendant – presumably Johnson – denied all charges specifically relating to the incident.
Send comments and tips to Benjamin Schachtman at firstname.lastname@example.org, @pcdben on Twitter, and (910) 538-2001.