A bone to pick with Palm Tran.

The one thing that really bothers me most about my sister-in-law’s recent passing is that her death was easily preventable and should never have happened had someone been doing their job a little more thoroughly.

I speak of whoever was driving the Palm Tran bus to take my sister-in-law to her mother’s house. She was going backwards down the steps of the bus trying to carry her bags when she lost her balance and fell off the steps, critically injuring her head and eventually succumbing to her injuries about a week later. I didn’t witness the accident but from what I hear the driver may not have done enough to prevent the accident from happening. An investigation is ongoing and I really don’t want to jump to any conclusions, but I sense Palm Tran itself may most likely be liable.

I don’t know how this aftermath is going to play out or whether a lawsuit will be involved during the resolution of this crisis. It would most likely result in some sort of financial compensation to cover our losses, which would be needless, for human life cannot be measured in dollars and cents. No amount can ever bring our beloved sister-in-law back.

If nothing else, the driver should have attended the funeral and view the body of the very passenger whose life could have been saved and remember that unhappy face in the coffin. Then he or she would hear the tearful eulogies of a life cut tragically short. Above all, the driver should witness the burial accompanied by the sound of sobbing from the passenger’s mother now faced with the unbearable task of burying her daughter. Then the driver would think twice during the next life-threatening emergency, provided he or she is still employed, if he or she isn’t already shaken to the very fiber of their being. Come to think of it, perhaps some of Palm Tran’s administration should join the driver in witnessing the funeral. Then some serious changes would be set into motion to prevent another tragic accident.

As I said earlier, I don’t know how this aftermath is going to play out. It’s hard to see this as being beneficial to Palm Tran nor a good source of publicity. I think they need to seriously evaluate the drivers’ roles during the transport of the passengers, including pickup and dropoff. Most of Palm Tran’s passengers need mobility assistance, and although my sister-in-law didn’t require such assistance, she definitely could have used some help with the bags and perhaps a word of caution about going down the steps of the bus backwards. Had such assistance were provided, a tragic accident would have been prevented and my sister-in-law would still be with us. Instead, she was taken from us too soon and leaves my family to grieve an easy preventable death.

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