CapMetro withholding bus driver info, released drug policy after fatal crash

Investigations

AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s been more than three weeks since a Capital Metro bus crash left a cyclist dead. The transit authority has released very little about the crash and suspended a bus driver employed by one their contractors, Travis Transit.

Wednesday, CapMetro sent KXAN a letter it received from the University of Texas Police Department on Feb. 1. A sergeant asked that CapMetro not release the bus driver’s name, any video related to the crash, her employment records, or any vehicle inspection reports related to the crash.

The bus driver was named in a search warrant, but KXAN is not naming her because criminal charges have not been filed. The search warrant said she failed a field sobriety test and had four different prescription painkillers and muscle relaxers in her backpack.

Wednesday night, CapMetro released Travis Transit’s drug policies and procedures for its bus drivers.

When it comes to prescription drugs, drivers are required to talk to their doctor about the side effects as they relate to operating a vehicle. On-duty employees cannot even use over-the-counter medications that could impact driving. If an employee has any questions, they are supposed to notify their supervisor.

It’s not clear if the bus driver was taking the four prescription drugs police say they found in the her backpack on board the bus or if they were in her system at the time of the crash.

The drugs — Baclofen, Gabapentin, Promethazine and Hydroxyzene — can cause drowsiness, confusion, lack of coordination and blurred vision.

Passengers on the bus told KXAN the bus driver was acting strange and oblivious to what was going on. 

When it comes to illegal drugs and alcohol, current job postings for CapMetro bus drivers indicate applicants must pass a criminal background check, a drug and alcohol screening, participate in a testing program for prohibited substances and submit to random drug and alcohol testing.     

The bus driver is still suspended, and has not been charged with a crime. The Travis County district attorney tells KXAN her office has been working with UT police since the crash.
 

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