A private charter bus fatally struck a pedestrian at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Saturday, authorities said. Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles and witnesses Adi Tiger, Mira Shott and Ronit Tiger spoke about the incident.
Authorities have identified Cheryl Bazilius, 68, of Fort Pierce as the pedestrian who was struck and killed by a private charter bus at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Saturday afternoon.
According to authorities, just before 2:18 p.m. Bazilius got out of a parked Ford SUV in the right traffic lane on the lower level of Terminal 4 to meet her husband, who had just arrived at the airport on a flight.
She had returned to the rear of the driver's side of the SUV when she was hit, Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles said.
"She went to greet a passenger that was arriving here, and as she was getting back into the vehicle, it appears that she tripped and fell under the wheels of the bus where she was struck,” Jachles said.
The victim was pronounced dead on the scene by Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue after the crash, the Broward Sheriff's Office said in a statement.
“It was the bus, and then right next to the bus was a car, and the woman was right under the bus, but you couldn’t really see anything other than her legs,” witness Adi Tiger said.
The Cabana Coaches bus was headed for Miami, with driver Woodrow Minor, 61, of Miami transporting about a dozen passengers for a cruise, the BSO said in a second statement late Saturday. None of the 13 people on board were injured, the BSO said.
The agency said that no charges have been filed, and its traffic homicide unit continues to investigate.
The company couldn’t be reached for comment. NBC 6 left a voicemail on its answering machine, which said the company’s hours are from Monday through Friday.
The bus was in the lane to the left of the SUV, which had the dropoff and pickup lane to its right, Jachles said.
“We still don’t understand why that driver stopped in a travel lane to let that passenger out,” he said.
As traffic homicide detectives investigated on the scene, deputies closed the lower level for arrivals, with traffic for all terminals rerouted to the upper level for four hours, the BSO said.
"The traffic is horrible, we have to detour, and parking was difficult,” said Angela Santiago, who was waiting for her parents.
Mira Shott had just picked up her friends, Adi Tiger and her mother Ronit Tiger, and traversed the same area before the accident.
"I just crossed, 15 minutes beforehand I crossed the same road – and it was shocking,” Shott said.
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