Detroit sued for bus driver involved in two fatal crashes, 19 total

Over 26 years as a Detroit Department of Transportation driver, Geraldine Johnson was involved in 19 different crashes – two of which were fatal involving pedestrians. The family of a woman killed last spring has filed a lawsuit against the city of Detroit.

Janice Bauer, 67, was walking in the crosswalk near Griswold Street and West Congress in June 2023 when she was run over by a DDOT bus. The driver, 60-year-old Geraldine Johnson, can be heard screaming on the cameras mounted in the bus.

Bauer's family was in disbelief when they found out that this wasn't the first time Johnson was involved in a fatal crash.

"When we found out it was the second fatality, we really were like ‘we have to do something'," Margaret Bauer said at a press conference announcing the lawsuit on Wednesday.

The screams on the video were similar to the same ones that Johnson made when she was involved in another fatal crash in 2015, killing Joey Davis.

"It didn’t have to happen that bus driver should not have been driving that day," Linda Bauer said.

Attorney Heather Atnip has filed the civil lawsuit that claims the City of Detroit, DDOT, and all responsible parties, negligently kept Geraldine Johnson on the job and let her continue to drive for the city, causing a danger to the public.

After Bauer was killed, FOX 2 discovered Johnson had 19 on-the-job incidents plus several write-ups for reckless driving and was known to police.

"We don’t want another family to go through this," Linda said.

Atnip and the family all video and information related to the fatal crash released – plus significant policy changes.

"The policies and procedures that allow for a DDOT bus driver to take time off work for a year and a half and then return with, basically, an expunged record is ridiculous, it's offensive. It’s designed to cause further harm," Atnip said.

FOX 2 contacted the city for comment on the lawsuit but a spokesperson said they cannot comment on pending litigation.