Man in wheelchair killed by bus

April 17, 2009 8:31:27 PM PDT
Police say a man in a wheelchair was struck and killed by a SEPTA bus on Friday afternoon. Action News has learned that the victim was struck twice by a SEPTA bus on the same corner 7 months ago.

The first time, he lost his legs, which put him in a wheel-chair; the second time, he lost his life.

"It's just a terrible, terrible tragedy," Rich Maloney of SEPTA said.

The wheelchair was still lodged under the route 47 bus when Action News cameras arrived to the scene.

For the 25 passengers onboard the bus, the scene was horrific.

"The driver was screaming like 'Oh My God!!', like he was hysterical in the sense that he couldn't believe that he was even that close to hitting the guy. He was, 'Oh! Oh!'. All the people on the bus were getting hysterical," a passenger said.

Police and witness accounts say that about 4:15 p.m. Friday, the bus was traveling westbound on Girard Avenue and was attempting to turn south on 8th Street. At that time, the victim, 61-year-old Milton Boneta attempted to cross the street in his wheel chair.

"And he was trying to turn and as he was turning, the bus didn't actually see him cause he was so low, so when he hit him, he felt hitting him but they was like, he was swerving and the man got dragged from the corner on down," witness Lisa Mill said.

As it turns out, the victim lost his legs last September when he was struck by a SEPTA bus on the very same corner. However unlikely it would seem that the victim would be involve in yet another accident with a SEPTA bus, it happened again today, and on the very same street corner. This time, he lost his life.

The story has a peculiar set of coincidences. The victim was born on 9-11-1947. He lived at 9-11 North Franklin Street. Last year, he was struck by a SEPTA bus and lost his legs on the day before 9-11. The bus route number was 47, the same as his birth year.

"Circumstances of this are just bizarre and very, very tragic," Maloney said.

Police at the Accident Investigation Division continue to investigate the accident, but at this point, it does not appear the SEPTA driver will be charged with anything.

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