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Bus driver pleads not guilty in death of Salt Lake's 'Mr. Downtown'

Published March 21, 2013 5:09 pm

Courts • Woman could face up to six months in jail if she is convicted.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The woman accused of running over Richard Wirick with a Utah Transit Authority bus stood before a judge Thursday morning for her first court appearance.

Cheryl Anne Kidd pleaded not guilty to charges of negligent operation causing personal injury, a class B misdemeanor, and failing to yield the right of way at a crosswalk, an infraction, in the 2012 accident that killed the 82-year-old businessman known as "Mr. Downtown."

Wirick was walking across a crosswalk at 200 East and 400 South on Feb. 21, 2012, when the traffic signals changed.

The UTA bus accelerated. The bus had a green light when it hit Wirick in the far right westbound lane of 400 South, according to a police report. He was trapped under the bus.

Kidd, who was driving the bus, told police she did not see Wirick. There was no evidence she had been driving under the influence.

She was not charged until February — exactly one year after the accident.

If convicted, Kidd could spend up to six months in jail.

UTA terminated Kidd on March 15, 2012, but would not comment on the circumstances other than to say each case is evaluated individually and drivers are not automatically terminated for involvement in a fatal crash.

Wirick owned the Oxford Shop shoe store, at 65 W. 100 South, for nearly six decades. He earned his nickname, Mr. Downtown, for his unwavering support of downtown business.

mlang@sltrib.com

Twitter: marissa_jae