‘It was horrible:’ Man struck, killed by MCTS bus; last fatal incident was in 2010

MILWAUKEE -- A man, 53, was killed early Sunday, Feb. 25 when he was struck by a Milwaukee County Transit System Bus near 35th and Wisconsin in Milwaukee. The victim has been identified as Angel Castillo-Rivera.

It happened shortly after midnight.

"I just heard the chaos, the sirens. I went outside. It was a mess," said Ronald Lewis. "It's sad -- very sad."

Police said the victim was in the roadway when he was hit. The man's injures were so severe, he died at the scene.

"It was horrible," Lewis said.

"I just saw him laying there. The man and the bus driver -- distraught," one witness said.

The medical examiner has determined his cause of death to be multiple blunt force injuries, and it has been ruled an accident.

The medical examiner's report indicates Castillo Rivera was struck in the intersection and he was dragged under the bus several feet north from the point of impact. The report says it was dark and raining at the time. Castillo Rivera was wearing dark clothing, according to the report.

The report says the bus had been stopped to drop off passengers -- facing west on Wisconsin Ave. at 35th St. It then made a right turn to head north on 35th. The driver felt something hit the rear wheel, believed to be a traffic cone, and Castillo Rivera was soon observed lying in the roadway through a mirror on the bus. The bus driver stopped the bus and called 911, along with MCTS officials.

The driver wasn't hurt, but was taken to the hospital for a blood draw. The driver was not thought to be impaired, the report says.

According to the report, Castillo Rivera was wearing in-ear headphones connected to his cellphone at the time.

The report says speed is not believed to have been a factor in this case.

Brendan Conway, spokesman for MCTS said the bus driver was distraught after the crash.

"He's just devastated by this whole thing," said Conway.

Brendan Conway

Conway said the operator -- who is a veteran driver -- was ending his shift on the GoldLine, turning north onto 35th when it happened.

"I can only imagine how difficult something like this would be," Conway said.

The driver has been place on leave.

Meanwhile, he and MCTS are cooperating with police.

"Any video has been shared with police," Conway said.

Authorities are looking into the circumstances leading up to crash and Conway said an internal investigation is being done as well.

"At this point, there is no indication that he did something wrong," Conway said of the driver. "Truly our condolences and thoughts and prayers go out to the family of this gentleman (who was killed.)"

Conway said MCTS hasn't had a fatal incident since 2010.

This incident will be reviewed by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office once the investigation is complete.