Columbia police say bus driver at fault for killing pedestrian

10 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago March 07, 2016 Mar 7, 2016 Monday, March 07 2016 Monday, March 07, 2016 4:55:00 PM CST in Top Stories
By: Max Diekneite, KOMU 8 Reporter and Vivien Tran and Fan Feng, KOMU 8 Digital Producers
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COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department said the Columbia Transit bus driver who hit and killed a pedestrian Monday morning is at fault.

The driver, 22-year-old Hamis Mukiwa, a part-time city employee, failed to yield while driving through a crosswalk, killing 66-year-old David C. Birkenbach. 

Birkenbach was an employee at the Truman V.A. Hospital. 

Below is an excerpt from the statement released by CPD: 

"The crash occurred (at 8:07 a.m.) as the City of Columbia transit bus was turning left from Champions Drive to travel west on MO 740 (Stadium Boulevard). A flashing yellow left-turn-yield signal was present at the time the bus attempted the left turn. The bus struck the pedestrian, who was legally within the crosswalk, on the west side of the intersection (closer to Monk Drive) in the westbound MO 740 traffic lanes. The pedestrian was transported from the scene by EMS to a local hospital for life-threatening injuries. The pedestrian was later pronounced dead from injuries sustained."

"On behalf of the City of Columbia, we wish to express our heartfelt condolences to the family of the individual," said City Manager Mike Matthes. "We are working with the agencies investigating this tragic incident."

There were no reported injuries to the passengers on the bus. Another City of Columbia Transit Bus provided transportation to the passengers to the MU Student Union.

The driver of the bus was drug and alcohol screened immediately following the incident as per federal requirements. Results showed drugs and alcohol were not a factor. Mukiwa has been placed on leave without pay pending the outcome of the investigation.

Video from the bus cameras is being turned over to Columbia police to assist them with the investigation and reconstruction of the incident. 

[Editor's note: This story was updated with the latest information.]

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