Aurora Bridge Victims V. State of WA & City of Seattle / 2002
Our firm represented Charles Moreno, Jr. and Judith Laubach who sustained serious injuries as the result of a Metro bus crashing into oncoming traffic on the Aurora Bridge. A Metro bus driver was shot, and the bus traveled across the Aurora Bridge and through the railing — plunging to the ground.
In 2002, we deposed SDOT employees. From those depositions, we learned that the State and City had considered plans to install a barrier for many years. At that time, we reviewed plans for adding a pedestrian walkway at a level just below the bridge, enabling the City to remove the sidewalk, and move the lanes over to accommodate the median barrier.
In 1993, 1994 and again in 1997, in preparation of a resurfacing project, WSDOT had considered a median barrier for the bridge. The issue fell through the cracks. The pressing issue at that time was that the structural steel of the bridge was beginning to show signs of deterioration. Thus, repairs needed to be made within a two year period. Limited funding for anything beyond the basic repairs was a problem for WSDOT. As a result, although everyone recognized the need for a barrier, the project was put off for another day.
A confidential settlement was reached. Full video of the KOMO News story with Keith Kessler (nationally recognized for roadway safety cases) interview. The excerpt with Keith talking to KOMO News reporter.