WeHo News has learned from sources close to the family of the surviving victim of the bus accident that left one man dead earlier this week that he was taken off life support this morning.
The coroner’s office has not yet identified the deceased man, pending family notification, but WeHo News has learned that his first name was Jerry, age 81.
The man injured at his side Monday night is his partner of seven years, a 50-year old named Reza (Ray) Ashouri.
The two men were struck on the 8800 block of Santa Monica Boulevard, in front of the Metro bus depot, by a bus travelling eastbound in the south lane near or in an unmarked crosswalk at 11:40 pm, Monday, February 4, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Transit Services Bureau Sgt. Andrew Bedogne.
The elder victim, Jerry, died of his injuries soon after arriving at the hospital.
According to the manager of Trunks, a neighborhood gay bar across the street from the location of the accident, the pair was in the bar that night and on their way home when they were hit by the bus.
Vince Cartelli said, “They were friends of mine; I knew them from Silver Lake bars where I used to work. They would come in three or four nights a week.”
He said that the regulars at the bar in the Boystown area of West Hollywood, “are torn up over this.”
Noting that the partners were “social drinkers only,” he asserted that alcohol played no role in the accident.
Another source who asked to remain anonymous also told WeHo News that Mr. Ashouri had been removed from life support.
He related the events of the fateful night, saying that that Jerry “walked with a shuffle and pretty slowly. Ray was at his side, as usual, helping him across the street to their car parked on the south side of Santa Monica Boulevard.”
The man, an eyewitness to the accident, said, “They were just a foot or two east of the actual crosswalk, you know, how people will angle toward where they are going, and bus swerved to miss them, but caught them with the right corner.”
Mr. Cartelli said he had gone over to Cedars-Sinai Hospital this morning to visit, and that is how he discovered that family members decided to remove Mr. Ashouri from life support.
Both men expressed a desire to see something done to make the crosswalk at Palm Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard safer to navigate, with Mr. Cartelli saying, “we really need to get the crosswalk problem solved,” and promising to “do what it takes to get the city to save lives” there.
The driver of the bus was a maintenance worker moving the bus from the end of its run to the depot at the corner of Santa Monica and San Vicente Boulevards, the entry to which was just a block away from the spot where the two men were struck.
MTA officials say that driver, who they did not identify, was qualified to drive the bus.
Both MTA and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department are investigating.
As part of the routine procedure, there was a drug test performed on the driver and he was placed on administrative leave pending the investigation's completion.