Fort Smith Billed $500K for Trolley Accident

by Talk Business & Politics ([email protected]) 133 views 

Getting “run over by a bus” is a catchall phrase for any number of unexpected tragedies or setbacks that can befall an otherwise innocent person.

But in Fort Smith it really happened — with a trolley. And if you ever wondered how much something like that can cost, Whispers has the answer: $490,620. That’s what Washington Regional Medical Center billed to the city of Fort Smith and its insurer, Travelers Insurance.

You see, the trolley driver was a Fort Smith employee who was cited for failure to yield with injury. The victim, a homeless man who lived at the Salvation Army, was transported to Washington Regional for treatment of a skull fracture and brain bleeding. At one point he was on a respirator, but as of June 30, was not listed as a patient at the hospital.

According to a police file, at least one witness said the victim charged into the street in an attempt to catch the bus while it was moving. That begs the question: Was the bus driver really at fault?

Whispers is not here to argue the case. But a few basic facts are worth mentioning. The accident happened on a Wednesday in March, around 12:35 p.m., on North B Street just a couple blocks off Garrison Avenue. In other words, nothing extraordinary about the time, date or place.  

Anyone can get “run over by a bus.” Look both ways before crossing the proverbial street.