MTA Bus Driver Pleads Guilty in Deadly Brooklyn Hit-and-Run Crash

MTA bus driver Paul Roper pled guilty last week to fatally striking 70-year-old Carol Bell and leaving the scene in Brooklyn in November 2015. Image: WNBC via @BrooklynSpoke
MTA bus driver Paul Roper pled guilty last week to fatally striking 70-year-old Carol Bell and leaving the scene in Brooklyn in November 2015. Image: WNBC via @BrooklynSpoke

An MTA bus driver who killed a senior in Brooklyn last year pled guilty to leaving the scene and violating the victim’s right of way.

[Update: Roper was sentenced to five years probation and fined $2,100 — $2,000 for leaving the scene and $100 for violating the victim’s right of way — according to court records. The Daily News reported that he was fired from his job driving an MTA bus.]

Paul Roper hit 70-year-old Carol Bell as she crossed Fulton Street at Sackman Street on November 3, 2015. Video showed Roper strike Bell, who was using a walker, while making a left turn. Reports said Roper briefly stopped the out-of-service bus after hitting Bell before driving away.

Investigators tracked the bus to the East New York Bus Depot. Though NYPD declared “no criminality” before locating Roper, police eventually charged him with leaving the scene, failure to yield, and careless driving.

The crash happened soon after City Hall reached a settlement in a suit filed by the Transport Workers Union, which spent much of 2015 trying to gut the Right of Way Law. The settlement served to clarify the law, but the TWU said it was proof that bus drivers were wrongly arrested for killing people who were following traffic rules.

MTA bus drivers killed four pedestrians over the course of November and December of last year, and have killed at least two people walking in 2016.

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