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Injured bus driver to fight traffic ticket

by Debra Friedman
Posted on March 28, 2011

Nearly a month after being thrown into the air by a BMW on East Putnam Avenue, a CT Transit bus driver said it isn't just his injuries that still hurt.

Roger Bouzy, 48, of Norwalk, said the sting of getting a $50 ticket hours after he was seriously injured while crossing the street surprised him more than anything that happened that night.

"It is not like I was just jumping in the street like crazy," said Bouzy, who was released from the hospital about a week after the crash. "I was trying to help another co-worker."

Bouzy was rushed to the emergency room March 2 after he was hit by a black BMW in front of Christ Church Greenwich. The CT Transit driver had pulled over after seeing a fellow driver coming the opposite way flashing his hazard lights -- a signal of distress.

As he crossed the street in the area of 254 E. Putnam Ave., the oncoming bus slowed down, but continued driving by. Then, as Bouzy began to walk back to his bus, he was struck head on by the BMW, causing head injuries and broken bones. Hours after the accident, police wasted little time before heading to the Stamford Hospital emergency room to issue Bouzy a ticket for illegal use of a highway by a pedestrian, which carries a $50 fine. The BMW driver was not fined.

Bouzy said he was thankful to be alive after that night, but felt the ticket added insult to injury. Once he is back on his feet, Bouzy said he plans to challenge the ticket in court.

He does not know how long it will be before he can return to work.

"I will fight that ticket," Bouzy said. "I will be OK. But it will take me time." Since the accident, Bouzy has obtained a lawyer who is looking into filing a civil lawsuit against the parties "responsible" for Bouzy's injuries.

"The extent of the injuries are extremely serious," said Hartford attorney Paul Spinella.

"There were multiple fractures in different parts of his body involving the implanting of metal hardware both to the upper and lower extremities."

Spinella said Bouzy is also being evaluated to see if he suffered a traumatic brain injury.

"It was a very serious impact," Spinella said. "So serious that in photos of the accident, you can see outlines of his entire body."

Regarding the ticket, Spinella described Bouzy as a hardworking bus driver from Haiti who was "living the American dream."

"You have to look at his history," Spinella said "This is someone who has never broken the law in his life. Certainly on this particular night he was acting as a completely law-abiding pedestrian. He broke no law."

Lt. Kraig Gray, spokesman for the police department, said while they understand Bouzy meant to do good, the investigating officer believed Bouzy was at fault. Although the bus driver's intent was admirable, the police department's opinion in this matter is not as important as what the law is," Gray said. "And in this instance, he put himself in a place where he shouldn't have been."

Gray said police officers have to be objective and record any violation they see when investigating an accident.

"This is why people can go to court to plead their case," Gray said.