Lucye Rafferty/The Hoya A pedestrian was hit and killed by a GUTS bus on Tuesday, May 6. The Arlington Police Department is investigating the accident.

A pedestrian was killed after being struck by a GUTS bus last Tuesday, May 6, at the intersection of North Nash Street and Lee Highway in Rosslyn, Va.

Arlington County Police Department Public Information Officer att Martin said that rescue officials responded to a call at 9:50 a.m. The female pedestrian was pronounced dead upon the Arlington Fire and Rescue Department’s arrival to the scene.

“The bus was turning from Nash onto Lee Highway going eastbound and at some point during that turn, the pedestrian was struck by the bus,” Martin said.

Officials identified the pedestrian as 72-year-old Mary Anne O’Neill from Arlington, Va. The bus driver was identified as 46-year-old William Larry Smith of Washington, D.C. The owner of the bus is Bethany Limousine & Buses, Inc. No charges have been filed in the case.

The Arlington Police Department is conducting an investigation to determine what happened and who was at fault.

The police department distributed flyers on Tuesday between 9 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. near the scene looking for potential witnesses who were at the intersection when the accident occurred, Arlington Police Detective John Ritter said. Ritter declined to comment on the case, as the investigation has not been completed.

Khalil Khalil, a spokesperson for Bethany Limousine & Buses, Inc., said he had heard no evidence that Smith was at fault.

“We were told it was not his fault from preliminary reports that came from some passengers on the bus,” Khalil said. “Some people said that it could not have been his fault since the bus was only going 10 miles per hour.”

“None of us noticed anything [when the bus struck the pedestrian],” Christine Vivas, events coordinator for the Center for Latin American Studies and one of eight passengers on the Rosslyn-bound bus, said. “The bus was moving very slow. It was just taking off and making a left turn.”

Vivas said that from her seat behind the bus driver, she could not see the pedestrian. She said she did not notice that something was wrong until the bus driver looked into his rearview mirror and noticed that the bus had collided with the pedestrian.

“He was the first to realize what had happened,” she said. “He was screaming and crying and we tried to calm him down.”

Khalil said that the bus driver has been given paid leave. “He’s at home and very depressed and saddened about this accident,” he said. “We didn’t want to grill him. This is really sad for everyone who knows him.”

Khalil also said that this was the first fatal accident for the bus line.

Vivas said that she called 911 and that another GUTS driver who was on the bus contacted the Office of Transportation Management at the university.

The Office of Transportation Management declined to comment on the accident.

“We understand that a bus was involved in a fatal accident on Tuesday, May 6, 2003, in Rosslyn, Va., and that the local authorities are investigating the matter. We extend our deepest sympathies to the family members,” university spokesperson Gloria Lacap said.

The accident forced the closure of Lee Highway eastbound between Rhodes Street and Fort Myer Drive and the closure of Nash Street between the north and southbound lanes of Lee Highway.

Arlington Police have requested that anyone with information regarding the incident contact Detective William Golab at (703) 228-4172.

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