ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - A World War II veteran died a week after his scooter tumbled over while he rode a PSTA bus.
The bus driver has been fired, after he was found to have been traveling at a "slightly excessive" speed, by St. Petersburg Police.
Meanwhile, his son is left without his father, the man with whom he shared a home.
"It doesn't feel very good," said his son, Richard Lussier. "I can't stand it."
His father's scooter now sits empty.
"He would get around all over the place," he said. "He liked it."
On March 4, Lussier's scooter tumbled over, injuring his arm and chest. Lussier told the driver he didn't need an ambulance, and continued to a previously scheduled doctor's appointment.
A week later, on March 11, Lussier was dead and police linked the death to the fall.
Lussier remembers his first night watching TV without his father.
"I said, 'Hey dad, there's your favorite program,' and I turned around, and he wasn't there," he remembered.
Two-year veteran driver, Gary Kreuger was fired.
"We are very, very sorry about what happened there," said Michael Gloss of the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority. "This is a very rare occasion."
PSTA officials say Krueger did three things wrong:
- Video confirms the turn was taken too fast while the light was yellow.
- The scooter Lussier was on was not adequately strapped in.
- Krueger should have urgently flagged what happened, and asked a supervisor to come determine whether the man needed medical help.
PSTA said drivers have been reminded of proper procedures, and insists the public should have confidence.
"It is not a matter of retraining, it is continuous training here," said Gloss. "Communication between the safety division and the operators is continuous."
The bus company expects a lawsuit, and Lussier says he's considering one.
"I am getting a lawyer," he said. "How would somebody else feel?"
The bus driver's union has already filed an appeal, but say it would only want him to work in a different capacity.
Krueger is said to be very distraught about what happened.