A Regional Transit Service bus driver was killed Thursday, Nov. 8 at the Genesee Valley Ice Rink, across the Elmwood Avenue Bridge from the River Campus.
Mary Jackson was found dead, pinned beneath the front wheel of her own bus in the loop outside the rink, where buses normally stop for layovers in their routes. She was 61.
James Oglesby, 37, was charged with second degree murder Saturday. He recklessly placed the bus in gear when he knew Jackson was “in close proximity,” according to a felony complaint filed in the case.
The ice rink is the site of practices and games for the UR men’s and women’s ice hockey teams. “We were all pretty shocked about it,” said Take Five Scholar and women’s team captain Awista Ayub. “You see all the buses there all the time, so it’s really weird.”
“We couldn’t believe something like that happened at a hockey rink,” senior captain of the men’s team Cory Rubin said. “It was a total shock.”
Jackson and Oglesby argued while on the bus, according to the complaint. Jackson then got off the bus and Oglesby set it in motion. Jackson was struck and pinned under the front wheel and Oglesby failed to summon help, the report continued.
The incident happened between 7:30 and 8:00 p.m. Police and officials of the Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority responded to a 911 call and arrived shortly after, but did not realize initially that anyone was hurt. Several minutes passed before Jackson was found.
The 911 call pertained to the bus crashing into a railing that separates the loop from the sidewalk.
The complaint did not say why Jackson and Oglesby argued or why Jackson got off the bus. It also did not say whether Oglesby was a passenger on the bus, or whether he was an employee of RTS.
If convicted, Oglesby could face 25 years to life in prison. Prosecutors can seek the death penalty where another felony is committed. There was no evidence of robbery or another crime in this case.
“It was an unfortunate incident, but it doesn’t reflect on the people who ride the buses or the community at large,” Ayub said.
Rubin said that despite the homicide, he doesn’t feel uncomfortable in the area. “I’ve never felt unsafe there as far as anything happening to me or my car or anything,” he said. “I think it was a crazy person one time, not using their head, and I don’t think it’s going to persist.”
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