UTA sued for wrongful death

(Leah Hogsten | Tribune file photo) Utah Transit Authority bus riders wait out the rain in shelters in Farmington in early 2020.

The Utah Transit Authority is being sued by the estate of a passenger who says his electric wheelchair was not properly secured, and the man died after injuries when he was thrown and pinned by the wheelchair as the bus made a turn.

The estate of Juan Melendez filed suit in 2nd District Court in Ogden saying a bus driver secured his electric wheelchair with only one of four tie-downs when he boarded the bus on June 7, 2018.

As the bus turned from Midland Avenue to 4000 West in Roy, the suit says, Melendez “was thrown from and subsequently pinned by his wheelchair, sustaining serious injury.” He died on Feb. 14, 2019.

The suit claims UTA failed to operate the bus in a safe manner and failed to properly train and supervise the operator on proper policy and procedure relating to passengers with disabilities.

No dollar amount is specified in the suit, which says damages will be proven in court.

UTA declined comment, saying it had not yet been served with papers about the lawsuit.