METRO police and safety personnel are investigating the accident that occurred on the service road of the Gulf Freeway just north of Howard shortly before 7pm Tuesday.
Preliminary information shows METRO bus operator James Brooks lost control of the vehicle, which crashed into a concrete traffic sign pole along the Gulf Freeway's feeder road. A witness reported to investigators that a vehicle made a right turn in front of another vehicle that was ahead of the bus. Brooks reportedly swerved to avoid rear-ending that vehicle, lost control of the bus and then struck the pole.
The bus was not in service and there were no patrons onboard the bus. Investigators state the bus was not equipped with cameras.
METRO staff sends its condolences to the family of 63-year-old Brooks, who had been part of the METRO family since 1983.
"While spending time with James' colleagues at the Polk Facility this morning it became very clear that he was loved and respected. He would always try to make people smile. He cared deeply about his own family and his METRO family," said METRO President & CEO George Greanias.
METRO officials are offering support to Brooks' family. Crisis counseling will be made available to all employees at the Polk Bus Operating Facility where Brooks worked.