Victims In RTD Bus Crash Identified

Neighbors: Victims Killed Were Quiet, Nice Couple

A second person has died as a result of an RTD bus crash Saturday evening.

The Denver City Coroner's Office identified the victims as 29-year-old Dustin Peletier and 28-year-old Carla Miranda, both from Denver.

Fourteen others were injured in the accident after an RTD bus allegedly ran a red light and struck two other vehicles at 8th Avenue and Lincoln Street on Saturday evening.

A section of Lincoln Street was closed for several hours after the accident.

Denver police spokesman Matt Murray said a RTD bus collided with a Volkswagen sedan and a pickup truck at around 5:05 p.m. Saturday.

Peletier was driving the Volkswagen and died at the scene. Miranda was a passenger in the car and died of her injuries Sunday morning.

The 14 injured 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.

7NEWS spoke with neighbors of Peletier and Miranda. They told us the two were a quiet, nice couple who always rode to work together, even though they had two cars.

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

"Based on what witnesses are telling us and the evidence is telling us, the bus ran a red light," Murray said.

7NEWS also spoke with Jason Bazel, a nursing student who was working as a waiter at Le Central, a restaurant located right where the accident happened. He kept people from pulling Peletier and Miranda from the vehicle until emergency personnel could arrive. Bazel also helped keep the victims' airways open until they could be taken out of the car.

He told 7NEWS he was sad to hear that both had died.

"This looked like a nice couple that might have been going grocery shopping or to the store or a movie, and their lives are forever changed," said Bazel.

Pauletta Tonilas, a spokeswoman with RTD, said the investigation is currently ongoing with her agency. She said it is not certain if the bus driver was at fault.

"What I understand they are trying to get all the information," Tonilas said. "I am not sure if that is the case.”

Tonilas said the bus was the 83 Limited. The bus was being driven by a contracted driver, not an RTD driver.

"It is one of the contracted bus drivers through Veolia," Tonilas said. "RTD has a couple of contracted bus service providers."

Murray said Sunday the RTD driver has not been cited. She remains in the hospital recovering.

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.