Michael Joseph Mooney, 53, of Duluth, the man killed in last week’s bus crash in the city, was a hero, officials are now saying.
Two Duluth Transit Authority buses collided last Tuesday, apparently after the driver of one bus had some sort of medical problem.
Police have now looked at the surveillance camera, a news release from the police department says, and have determined Mooney was killed because he tried to help.
This incident began when an eastbound DTA bus driven by Polson began to lose control causing it to drift slightly off the roadway on Superior Street just east of Mesaba Avenue.
The bus then moved to the left and drove up onto the center median in the 600 block of West Superior Street and struck a road sign while it continued to accelerate eastbound. The bus struck the stop sign at 5th Avenue West as it continued accelerating through the intersection without stopping.
After passing through the intersection, the bus had a major collision with the semaphore on the east side of 5th Avenue West which caused the bus to be redirected to the left, into and across the westbound lane of West Superior Street. The bus came to rest after crashing into the concrete barriers along the roadway.
There was a very minor collision between eastbound bus and the westbound bus. The vast majority of the damage sustained by the eastbound bus was from the collision with the semaphore and concrete barrier.
One passenger from the eastbound bus still remains at a Duluth hospital with all others involved having been treated and released. The remaining passenger in the hospital is 58 year old Jeanne Marie Doucette who is listed in critical condition.
During the time the bus was out of control, it was apparent by the reactions of the passengers on the bus that something was wrong with the driver. Just prior to the crash, Mooney can be seen leaving his seat in the rear portion of the bus and begin to rush forward in an apparent attempt to help the driver.
The funeral for Mr. Mooney is being held this morning.