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No Charges for RTA Driver After Death of Lakewood Man

The Lakewood prosecutor’s office has spent weeks reviewing the case, following a lengthy investigation by the police department, and decided not file charges in the incident.

Joe Milan, who sustained multiple injuries after he was run over by an RTA bus on June 10, died a week later at Metro Health Medical Center. PHOTO CREDIT: Colin McEwen
Joe Milan, who sustained multiple injuries after he was run over by an RTA bus on June 10, died a week later at Metro Health Medical Center. PHOTO CREDIT: Colin McEwen

No charges are expected for the 36-year-old RTA bus driver who ran over a 46-year-old Lakewood resident as he tried to catch the No. 26 bus on Detroit Avenue on June 10.

Joe Milan, who sustained multiple injuries in the incident, died a week later at Metro Health Medical Center.

The Lakewood prosecutor’s office has spent weeks reviewing the case, following a lengthy investigation by the police department, and decided not file charges in the incident.

On Thursday, Lakewood Police released the report to Lakewood Patch. 

There were no witnesses to the crash, according to a detailed, 36-page police report. And video surveillance cameras were of no help. 

The only person on the bus that day told police that he didn’t “see or hear anything unusual” on June 10.

However, he said that “about three bus stops past Warren Road stop, the bus driver got out and looked westbound down Detroit.” The driver asked the passenger — a Clifton Boulevard resident who rode the bus each day with Milan — if he’d seen “a cone or something in the street.”

(However, that was not mentioned in the RTA incident report)

On June 24, detectives asked to re-interview the driver, but RTA legal counsel told police “he would not be permitted to speak with (officers) further.”

The driver tested negative for drugs, and at 9:44 that morning, he took — and passed — a Breathalyzer test. 

According to the police report, it was the driver’s first route on Detroit Avenue.

A half-dozen cameras mounted at area businesses did not have footage of the crash, and the bus that struck Milan was not equipped with a camera. The city’s camera at Cook and Detroit avenues was not working that day.

The only footage captured was from a westbound bus moments after Milan was run over, but it did not show the incident. 

Milan told an officer responding at the scene that he was “running after the bus and knocked on the side to get the driver’s attention.”

He thought the driver had seen him.

Another passenger told Lakewood Patch that Milan was always punctual — the first one at the bus stop. 

Milan told the officer — before he was taken to the hospital — that he tripped and the rear tires of the bus ran him over. 

He died before detectives could follow up with him.

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