Attorney: 'Absolute failure' DDOT bus driver allowed to keep job after 1st fatal pedestrian crash

Newly obtained video shows a Detroit Department of Transportation bus driver's fatal crash killing a Metro Detroit man in 2015.

Just as passenger Joey Davis leaves the bus to get his bike off the rack on the front, the driver hits him. Geraldine Johnson who was behind the wheel, immediately realizes what happened and begins screaming.

Fast-forward eight years and the same DDOT driver, Geraldine Johnson, is charged with hitting and killing pedestrian Janice Bauer.

This, despite Johnson's horrific driving record that includes seven previous crashes dating back to the other fatal accident in 2015.

"The court does find you to be a danger," the judge said.

The question everyone is asking is why was Johnson allowed by the City of Detroit to keep her job as a bus driver after hitting and killing Joey Davis.

Attorney James Harrington represented Davis’ family in a lawsuit against the city,

"It’s absolutely unacceptable, it should not be tolerated, and this should have been prevented," said Harrington, of Fieger Law. "She should have been taken off the road after the Joey Davis incident, had the city done its job."

The City of Detroit settled the case out of court for $4.5 million.

Geraldine Johnson

Geraldine Johnson

Which takes us back to Geraldine Johnson and her driving record — in the years following Davis’ death.

"There have been crashes either with a bus or a personal vehicle - 2018, two in 2019, one in 2020, one in 2021, one in 2022, and then we have this matter today," the judge said.

Johnson is now charged with a moving violation causing death which is only a misdemeanor. 

The City of Detroit declined repeated requests for an interview. It instead chose to release a statement saying Johnson has been fired:

"Since this terrible accident occurred two weeks ago, we have been engaged in a full review of Ms. Johnson's record and of all related department policies and procedures. Once that review is completed, we will be better positioned to respond to questions about her driving and employment history with DDOT. Following the accident, Ms. Johnson was terminated."

"What we have seen in this case is an absolute failure and a betrayal of trust that we place in government," Harrington said.

Bauer's family has declined comment. 

Screenshot from 2015, inset: Geraldine Johnson mugshot

Screenshot from 2015, inset: Geraldine Johnson mugshot