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Victim of crash with TARC bus identified, neighbors push for change at intersection

Published: Jun. 9, 2021 at 4:35 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 7:07 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A day after a deadly crash in the Park Hill neighborhood, people who live nearby are pleading for change. Unfortunately, it’s a cry they’ve made before in the face of similar tragedy.

At South 23rd and West Oak Street, the spray paint markings left on the pavement by crash scene detectives have become a familiar sight.

“They come by here flying and don’t stop,” neighbor James Gibson said.

Gibson has lived near the intersection for 50 years. During that half a century, he said the crossroads have caused heartbreak, and the problem is only getting worse. That morbid momentum continued Tuesday.

“That guy came down here in that truck,” Gibson said. “He was flying. That bus didn’t have time to get out of the way. And he hit him.”

Around 4:40 p.m., LMPD said a crash between a TARC bus and two other passenger vehicles killed one person, the driver of a pickup truck, and left two others hurt. The pickup driver has been identified as Andrew H. Rawles, 59, of Louisville. Rawles died at UofL Hospital from injuries he sustained in the crash.

TARC released the following statement Wednesday:

“We are deeply saddened by the accident that occurred yesterday involving a TARC bus. The safety and security of our staff and community is always our top concern. Our thoughts are with everyone involved.”

This week’s wreck happened at the same location where a Louisville Water employee was hit and killed after a crash at the intersection ended up off the road. During the July 22, 2019 incident, one of two cars involved in the crash struck two workers repairing a fire hydrant. Jimmy Stone, a 17-year employee, was killed.

After Stone’s death, some neighbors told us the number of collisions at 23rd and Oak was too many to recount. They hoped that tragedy would spur change. Almost two years later, neighbors are still asking for help. They said they want to see speed bumps, stop signs or a traffic light installed.

“It needs a light,” Gibson said. “It needs a light. It might help somebody.”

The LMPD traffic unit is investigating the crash.

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