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C-Tran agrees to $2M settlement in 2012 death

Ben Fulwiler, 11, died after colliding with C-Tran bus

By , Columbian Transportation & Environment Reporter
Published: August 31, 2015, 4:29pm

The family of an 11-year-old boy who died after colliding with a C-Tran bus in 2012 will receive $2 million in a settlement reached last month.

Ben Fulwiler was riding a bicycle near Main and 27th streets in Vancouver when a bus turned left onto 27th Street on April 28, 2012. Fulwiler and the bus collided, and the boy was then run over by the vehicle’s rear wheels. He later died at a hospital.

Fulwiler’s parents had filed a wrongful death lawsuit against C-Tran in 2014. The settlement was finalized following an Aug. 6 mediation session between ­C-Tran, Fulwiler’s family and the Washington State Transit Insurance Pool, which is ­C-Tran’s insurer.

“As an agency, C-Tran continues to believe that the responsibility for this tragic incident does not rest on C-Tran, but we respect WSTIP’s judgment that litigation is unpredictable,” the agency said in a statement Monday. “We now look forward to helping bring closure to the Fulwiler family, the former C-Tran bus operator, and other employees who have all suffered ever since that terrible day in April of 2012.”

C-Tran Executive Director Jeff Hamm notified the agency’s board of directors of the settlement on Aug. 6. The $2 million will be paid through the insurance pool, not C-Tran’s budget, said Scott Patterson, C-Tran’s planning, development and public affairs director.

Fulwiler’s parents, Dustin Fulwiler and Jennifer Kanna, alleged that the driver of the bus, Deborah Knox, acted negligently in the moments leading up to the crash. The boy’s parents also argued that Knox failed to stop soon enough after the impact to prevent him from being caught under the wheels and killed.

Knox did not face criminal charges as a result of the crash. She no longer works for C-Tran.

A representative of Fulwiler’s family could not be reached for comment Monday.

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