A man who died after being dragged by an RTD bus near downtown Littleton on June 7 crawled under the bus deliberately, Littleton police said. No charges will be filed against the bus driver.
Patrick Tshudy, 31, of Greenwood Village, was dragged roughly six blocks by the bus, from the crosswalk on the north end of the Littleton Downtown Light Rail Station to the intersection of West Littleton Boulevard and South Windermere Avenue just after 3 p.m. on June 7, said Littleton Police Department spokesman Rick Redmond.
The bus stopped after a car following behind the bus saw a body emerge from beneath it, after which the driver of the car swerved around the bus and stopped in front of it to alert the driver, Redmond said.
Witness interviews and security footage show that Tshudy intentionally crawled under the bus while it was stopped, Cmdr. Trent Cooper, of the Littleton Police Department, said at a press conference on June 12.
“His motives for doing so are unknown,” Cooper said. “There's some speculation that he had mental health issues that drove him to do that. Whether it was a deliberate suicide, we may never know. The only person who knows that is him.”
Bus drivers follow a protocol to check their surroundings before starting from a stop, Cooper said, “but there's no way for them to check the undercarriage.”
Cooper said it's unknown whether Tshudy was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time. An autopsy report will take 8-10 weeks to prepare, said Arapahoe County Coroner's Office spokeswoman Lisa Avendano.
The bus was traveling RTD's route 66, which starts at Arapahoe Community College and largely follows Arapahoe Road to its intersection with South Parker Road.
Roughly 15 passengers were on the bus at the time, Redmond said. Eastbound Alamo Avenue and Littleton Boulevard was closed for several hours on June 7.
RTD is reviewing the incident, said RTD spokesman Scott Reed.
“This was a very tragic accident,” Reed said. “Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the individual who was killed, as well as the bus operator, who was traumatized by this.”
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