Police: Woman hit by MARTA bus in critical condition

Police: Woman hit by MARTA bus in critical condition

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Atlanta police were investigating after a MARTA bus struck a woman Wednesday night. (BEN GRAY / BGRAY@AJC.COM)

A woman is in critical condition after being hit by a MARTA bus Wednesday night in southwest Atlanta, police said.

According to the preliminary investigation, the woman was jaywalking southbound on Lee Street and crossing Ralph D. Abernathy Boulevard when she was hit by an eastbound bus around 9 p.m., Officer John Chafee with Atlanta police said.

The woman, who is around 20 years old, was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital in critical condition, police said. Approximately five people were on the bus and no other injuries were reported, Chafee said.

Witness Dustin Sparks said the woman had headphones on and walked out in front of the bus.

“She was walking in the street,” he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “She didn’t look left or right.”

Sparks, who was on another bus when he saw the incident, said people rushed to help the woman after she was hit.

“It started to get crazy,” he said. “For a long time her eyes wouldn’t open and they said, ‘Stay with me, stay with me.’ ”

Tina Smith, who was walking nearby when the collision occurred, said the bus driver’s light was green, but the pedestrian’s was not. According to Smith, the woman was walking like she was dancing to music when she was struck.

“She hit the ground so hard,” she said.

Smith said she has known the bus driver since she was a little girl and he is experienced.

She hopes the woman will recover.

“God, please don’t let this woman be dead,” she said.

MARTA spokesman Lyle Harris said the bus operator has been taken for routine testing in accordance with company protocol following such an accident and the incident remains under investigation by Atlanta police.

—David Gibson contributed to this report.

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