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15 Hurt after Denver Bus Runs Red Light and Crashes

DENVER - A Denver city bus struck two vehicles after running a red light at a downtown intersection Saturday, killing one person and injuring 15 others, police said.

Police spokesman Matthew Murray said the Regional Transportation District bus was northbound on Lincoln Street, a major route in the city, when it collided with a car and a pickup truck at about 5 p.m. A man in the car died at a hospital of his injuries, and a woman in the car was in critical condition, Murray said.

Fourteen other people were taken to St. Anthony's and Denver General hospitals, and one of them was listed in critical condition, Murray said. Denver Fire Department personnel had to extricate several people from the three vehicles.

Witnesses said the bus struck the car first, then pushed the pickup into a parking lot and against a billboard pole, according to The Denver Post. The truck's driver emerged with assistance and sat on a curb until an ambulance arrived.

Police were interviewing witnesses at the scene of the accident, which occurred at 8th Avenue and Lincoln Street.

The bus driver was taken to a hospital with injuries, said RTD spokeswoman Pauletta Thomas. The driver's condition wasn't immediately known.

Thomas said the transportation agency was working with police to determine what happened.

Keith Napodano, who was returning from a snowboarding trip Saturday, told the newspaper that he was traveling behind the bus when he and his girlfriend saw it "punch through the red light."

"I watched the blue car get T-boned and all the windows exploded," Napodano said. "It did a full 360 and a half."

Pauletta Tonilas, another RTD spokeswoman, told the paper that the bus driver was not an RTD employee but a worker contracted through the transportation company Veolia. About half of RTD's bus service is privately contracted.

In January, an RTD bus driven by a Veolia employee ran a red light, causing a multicar pileup at Florida Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard.

Saturday's crash shut down the intersection south of downtown for more than three hours. The front end of the bus was detached and lay in the middle of the street.



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