SEATTLE - The parents of a Seattle man who was killed by a bus filed a lawsuit today against Greyhound Lines, Inc.
Paula Becker and Barry Brown said their 25-year-old son, Hunter, was traveling from Seattle to San Francisco, and was run over by the bus near Medford, Oregon. They are suing Greyhound Lines, Inc. for negligence.
"Nobody who gets on a Greyhound bus should have to worry that the driver is going to kill them on the way to where they're going," said Barry Brown, Hunter's father.
The bus left Seattle and stopped in Portland, where a new driver took over. According to the lawsuit, the driver who took over had already driven more than nine hours that day and was in a foul mood from the start, was 90 minutes late to drive the bus, pulled it over on an on-ramp to use the bathroom and left a couple of passengers at a previous rest stop.
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On June 29, when they arrived in Central Point, near Medford, Oregon, for a planned stop, Hunter left the bus to buy some food.
According to the lawsuit, the bus was supposed to leave at 1:30 a.m., but it started to pull out early. Hunter ran to the bus and pounded on the door. He wanted to get on board and his belongings were on board. According to the lawsuit, as the bus turned, it knocked Hunter off-balance and the front tire ran over his head, killing him.
"To think of that -- being completely snuffed out because a driver was having a bad day and still sat behind the wheel of a Greyhoud bus -- it's really hard to live with," said Paula Becker, Hunter's mother. "We want to see changes at Greyhound that will protect other families. That is very important to us."
"You want some kind of public recognition, they recognize and acknowledge that they did a grievous wrong to Hunter," Brown said.
Hunter's parents say he had struggled with addiction and was moving to California to start over. They say Hunter was an avid reader and writer.
Both parents said goodbye to him the night before he left on the bus trip.
"He said, 'thank you so much for being a part of my life'," Brown remembered. "'I know so many people whose parents have just written them off and you haven't done that and I'm so proud thankful'." That was the last time they saw their son alive.
"Greyhound needs to take steps, they need to take formal steps to make sure the passengers who trust them are safe and protected," Brown said.
KIRO-7 reached out to Greyhound and was told the company does not comment on pending litigation.
"If anything good can come out of this horrible thing, if Greyhound can change their policies and protect their riders Hunter's life being taken will not be completely a loss, something good will come out of it and that's the best we can have, " Becker said. "We don't get any better than that."
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