Court documents reveal new details about bus crash that killed bicyclist

A UT Police Department affidavit paints a disturbing picture of what was happening on a Capital Metro bus the night of January 28th, when avid cyclist and Fox 7 Austin employee Tony Diaz was struck from behind and killed.

The paperwork identifies the bus driver as 40-year-old Mindi Taylor Stafford. 

Diaz, according to the affidavit, was riding on San Jacinto in the empty diagonal parking spaces, close to the east curb.

The area was well lit.  Diaz was wearing a reflective helmet and the bike itself had lights on it.  

The bus drifted into the parking spaces Diaz was pulled underneath.

Cap Metro allowed a UTPD detective to watch video and audio from the bus.  The detective could hear passengers yelling at Stafford to watch out for the cyclist.

Stafford quote "appeared to be oblivious to her surroundings."  

After striking the bike, Stafford was slow to react, finally braking and stopping the bus about 110 feet from the accident.

Detectives found Stafford's backpack containing 4 prescription medications: side effects that include confusion, dizziness and drowsiness.

Austin Police assisted with the field sobriety test.  Stafford showed 6 out of a possible 6 clues.

Personal injury attorney Brad Bonilla has handled cases against Cap Metro in the past.  

He says Cap Metro should leave no stone unturned in their investigation.

"Because if this ends up being a drunk driving case, intoxication manslaughter likely, this is the very definition of a preventable death.  Something that should have never happened and it especially should have never happened with Capital Metro," Bonilla said.

Cap Metro transit operators are contractors.  So they say drug testing policies are specific to the contract companies.

According to federal guidelines, random drug testing is required.

Cap Metro says this employee is contracted with RATP Dev USA.  Cap Metro won't confirm whether she is still employed with them due to the investigation.

Bonilla says Cap Metro failed in their high "duty of care."

"Capital Metro's going to point the finger at the contractor.  And the management at Capital Metro is going to say 'you know what, it was our contractor that failed,' and that's significant because when you have that sort of insulation, it really doesn't give Capital Metro the organization any reason to change their behavior," Bonilla said.

Also in the affidavit, the detective wrote that many times suspects use their cell phones to corroborate stories after the offense was committed.

Detectives say Stafford was on her phone frequently during the investigation, even asking for a phone charger.

UT Police reiterate they haven't filed any charges yet against the driver.



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