Kirkland

Witness says bus 'plowed right into the car and he kept going'

Witness says bus 'plowed right into the car and he kept going'
SEATTLE -- Police say their investigation into a deadly Monday night Sound Transit bus crash in Kirkland could take six months to complete, and newly released 911 calls shed light on just how terrifying the crash was.

Witnesses who first called 911 confirm that the bus ran a red light before slamming into an SUV.

"A bus just flew out of control. It's crazy," the caller said. "We were right behind the bus and it went right through the light, plowed right into the car and he kept going. The bus took off."

Bob and Betty Rotta were inside that SUV and both were killed. Their son Ken was driving, called 911.

"I'm the driver and the bus ran the red light," he told the dispatcher.

Days later, Ken is now speaking about that horrible.

"There was this big square bus and I didn't even have time to look at it. Saw it, boom," he said.

In a split second, Rotta's life was changed forever.

"I looked back at my dad and it didn't look like he was going to make it or did make it so I shut the car down everything seemed to be going in slow motion," he said.

It was also slow motion for Rashad Washington, who witnessed the crash and called 911.

"In a split second I heard a loud explosion it literally sounded like somebody shot off a cannon."

Dispatchers tried to see if Bob Rotta could be removed from the severely damaged vehicle to receive CPR, but he was trapped in the back.

"He's totally trapped in. The door is jammed shut. We need the jaws of life to get him out," a witness told the dispatcher.

Washington said he hasn't been able to stop thinking about the crash.

"I literally could not work yesterday because it was that bad and I feel so bad for those folks because, honestly, there's no way this should have happened," he said. "Whether it was a malfunctioning bus or whatever the case may be those folks didn't deserve what they got."

The bus driver told investigators his brakes failed. Investigators have impounded both the bus and the SUV and plan to do a complete inspection of all the bus's systems, including its brakes.

Investigators are currently re-interviewing all 24 bus passengers. They don't plan on searching the bus itself until their initial investigation is complete because they want as much detail as possible before applying for a search warrant.