Man killed by bus in SLO identified

San Luis Obispo police identified the 71-year-old man who died Wednesday after he was struck by a county Regional Transit Authority bus as Richard Cox of San Luis Obispo.

The bus on Route 12A was traveling northbound on Santa Barbara Street near the intersection with Broad Street in San Luis Obispo at 8:27 p.m. when it struck Cox in the roadway just north of Roundhouse Avenue, according to police.

Police Capt. Ian Parkinson said Wednesday night that Cox suffered major injuries, including head trauma. He was taken to French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, where he was pronounced dead, Parkinson said.

The bus driver has been placed on paid administrative leave, Regional Transit Authority Executive Director Edward King said Thursday.

He said the transit authority is cooperating with the police department’s investigation and declined to release the employee’s name, citing the investigation.

The driver was hired Aug. 1, 2009, he said. King declined to say where she previously worked or comment on her driving record with the transit authority.

“We will release a statement at the conclusion of the investigation,” he said.

San Luis Obispo police Capt. Chris Staley said police are waiting on results from blood taken from both the driver and Cox to see whether alcohol or drugs played a part in the collision.

Once the results are available, which should take less than a week, police could determine the cause of the collision, he said.

Parkinson said Wednesday night that at least four people arrived on the scene shortly after the incident, followed by fire and law enforcement personnel.

One man administered CPR, but his attempts at resuscitation and those of emergency medics were ultimately unsuccessful, he said.

No passengers were on the bus apart from the female bus driver, Parkinson said, noting that the bus had just gone into service at the time of the incident.

-- Cynthia Lambert