GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A crew cleaning a Rapid bus parked at the Wealthy Street garage discovered a man slumped on the floor.
Carlos Mercado, 65, was pronounced dead within an hour.
It appears The Rapid bus driver failed to notice Mercado’s body on the floor when parking and exiting the bus.
The incident happened the evening of July 8 at The Rapid bus garage on Wealthy Street, east of Market Avenue.
An autopsy is not yet complete, though the Grand Rapids man’s death is not considered suspicious. Target 8 obtained the initial case report from the Kent County Medical Examiner, which provided a timeline of what occurred.
According to the report, Mercado entered the bus at 5:36 p.m. and “sits down and starts fanning himself.”
Six minutes later, at 5:42 p.m., the bus’s surveillance video shows Mercado “slumps over and onto the floor.”
At 5:53 p.m., the bus drives into the garage on Wealthy Street SE, at which point the driver presumably exited the vehicle.
At 6:00pm, the report states “the cleaning crew for this bus enter and find the decedent unresponsive on the floor.”
The Rapid’s communications director, Amanda Moore, sent News 8 a statement that said the cleaning crew entered the bus at 5:55pm, not 6:00, which was the time provided by the medical examiner’s investigator.
News 8 asked Moore what procedures bus drivers are required to perform before exiting the vehicle. We also asked if the driver in question is facing any disciplinary action.
Moore did not address those questions in her statement:
“On July 8, a customer boarded a Route 2 Kalamazoo bus headed to Central Station at 5:36 p.m. as shown in the on-board video footage reviewed after the incident. The bus operator arrived at Central Station and returned to the garage at 5:53 p.m. The cleaning crew entered the bus at 5:55 PM and discovered an unresponsive person. The cleaning crew notified dispatch and a supervisor reported to the scene and called 911. Grand Rapids Fire Department responded at 6:12 p.m. The individual was pronounced deceased at 6:48 p.m.”— Amanda Moore, The Rapid communications director
Carlos Mercado’s family declined to comment on his death.