Local News

Family of pedestrian killed in wreck hires attorney

Posted November 5, 2008 6:47 p.m. EST
Updated November 6, 2008 4:42 p.m. EST

— The family of a UNC Hospitals employee who died last week after being hit by a city bus said Wednesday they are seeking an attorney.

"We're in the process of retaining a lawyer, and we have no public comment at this time," said Carl Hughes, whose daughter, Valerie Hughes, was killed when while trying to cross South Columbia Street at Mason Farm Road.

The bus driver, James Willie Orr, has been fired, and Chapel Hill police charged him Tuesday with misdemeanor death by vehicle.

Orr, 65, had been employed with the town for eight years and was involved in 10 minor wrecks since 2001, including a 2004 incident when his "attention was diverted due to changing radio channels," according to a police report.

He was driving a bus in all but one of them, records show.

Orr did not answer a request for comment Wednesday.

The Town of Chapel Hill won't comment on whether Orr's driving record should have prevented him from driving. It has issued a statement of sympathy to Hughes' family, but has remained quiet otherwise.