County slams the brakes on bus service Friday

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Buses to resume circulation Monday

By Carol A. Clark

Some Atomic City Transit riders were caught by surprise and without public transportation this morning. ACT stopped service of all its buses with the exception of Dial-a-ride, following the investigation of the Nov. 18 traffic accident that killed Logan Collins, 12, near Los Alamos Middle School.

“We did our very best last night to inform our subscriber list that busses wouldn’t be running today. This morning we had county personnel drive the streets and stop to inform anyone waiting for a bus and assist them with Dial-a-ride or other means,” Los Alamos County spokesperson Julie Habiger said. “We also distributed flyers and we contacted the schools this morning. The schools made the announcement over the intercom to let students know buses aren’t running. We also informed LANL.”

The police investigation determined that Collins had been a passenger on a Los Alamos County Transit Bus, driven by John K. Danforth of Los Alamos, just prior to being struck by a 2002 Chevy Avalanche driven by Rollin T. Jones of Los Alamos. 

Danforth was issued a citation for stopping on a marked crosswalk and stopping at an undesignated bus stop. Both are violations of parking regulations.

Stopping at an undesignated bus stop is in violation of county ordinance.

The investigation found Collins had exited the transit bus at the intersection of Hawk Drive and San Ildefonso Road and proceeded to run in front of the bus and into the East bound lane of San Ildefonso Road.

Jones was legally passing the transit bus, according to police as he proceeded east on San Ildefonso and struck Collins as he emerged from in front of the stopped transit bus.

The investigation further revealed that Jones was traveling at the posted speed limit and had no evidence of alcohol or drugs in his system as confirmed from blood tests taken

immediately after the crash.

The investigation determined that Jones would not have had sufficient time to stop or avoid Collins as he emerged from in front of the bus.  Jones was cited for no proof of insurance and expired registration for his vehicle.

Regarding the conclusion of the police investigation into the accident, Habiger said she understands that since it is, or will be, the subject of court proceedings, she is unable to comment at this time.

“Like so many in our community, our hearts go out to the Collins family regarding the accident involving their son, Logan. Providing safe passage for every rider on Atomic City Transit is our top priority,” Habiger said. “This is the first time that this type of situation has occurred since Atomic City Transit began operations in October 2007. We will continue to work with the local schools and parents on educating our children about bus safety.”

At the conclusion of the accident investigation, the county has chosen to move away from the flagging system to designated bus stops for all Atomic City Transit operations, she said.

The county has 200 vertical bus stop signs being fabricated in Albuquerque today that will be installed beginning tomorrow afternoon.

“The routes and timing of the routes will not change significantly. There will be no flagging and riders will need to be at designated bus stops,” Habiger said.

The designated bus stops will go into effect Monday and locations of the new bus stops will be posted on the Web site, www.atomiccitytransit.com by Sunday evening.