Chilling 911 calls released in bus crash that killed couple

Updated:

KIRKLAND, Wash. —

Three 911 calls from people reporting a Sound Transit bus that failed to stop after hitting an SUV and killing a couple depict the shock  following the crash.

In one call, a witness at the crash scene described his location and the condition of the victims in the SUV.

At one point he hands the phone to the injured driver of the SUV, 51-year-old Kendall Rotta, who told the dispatcher his father might be dead and his mother was badly hurt.

“I think my dad might be gone and my mom is in pretty bad shape and I’m a little bit too,” said Rotta.  Hear the entire call

Rotta said his father was pinned in the wrecked SUV, was not breathing and had no pulse.

He handed the phone off, saying he thought he was going to pass out.

Rotta’s father, 76-year-old Robert Rotta, died at the scene and his mother, 75-year-old Elizabeth Rotta, later died from her injuries at the hospital.

The Monday night crash occurred in Kirkland near Northeast 128th Street after the Route 535 bus exited Interstate 405 in the HOV lane and ran a red light.

The bus driver told authorities he was unable to stop the bus, which continued on for at least a mile after it slammed into the SUV before it stopped.

Witness Rashad Washington, who had been waiting to take the Route 535 bus to Lynnwood, told a 911 dispatcher the bus flew out of control.

“Somebody might be hurt out here. There’s glass everywhere, there are people in (the SUV that was hit),” said Washington.  Listen to the call

A third caller described what he saw after the crash.  Listen to the call

“We need an ambulance. There’s somebody dead in the Ford Escape. He’s dead. (His) head is fallen over; he’s trapped. He hit his head,” said Fleet Wiscolmbe.

The bus and the SUV struck in the crash have both been taken into evidence. The Washington State Patrol is interviewing witnesses and 23 passengers who were on the bus.

In about two weeks, after interviews have been completed and a warrant has been obtained, a mechanical investigation on the bus will begin.