Mother's death leads to renewed promise of safety from JTA

JTA CEO Nathaniel Ford opens meeting with moment of silence for Jeanie Rozar

By Kelly Wiley - I-TEAM reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The top boss of Jacksonville’s bus system spoke Thursday with the News4Jax I-TEAM about the death of a 50-year-old mother who was killed by a Jacksonville Transportation Authority bus.

JTA CEO Nathaniel Ford opened a meeting Thursday afternoon with a moment of silence for Jeanie Rozar. He said her death has already led to staffing changes within the JTA and heightened safety. 

Following an internal administrative review of Saturday's deadly accident, JTA bus operator Jean Silney was terminated.

"Unfortunately, again, this individual did not follow the procedures that we have outlined for the safe operation of the transit vehicles," Ford said.

Accoridng to his personnel file, Silney was reprimanded for hitting a bicyclist in 2013. He was fired in December after JTA said he nearly hit a supervisor with his bus, but was rehired a month later.

Now, the I-TEAM has learned that the manager who hired him back has resigned. 

"As it relates to accountability here at the JTA, we hold each and every employee for their actions and their decisions," Ford said. "That same manager has the responsibility of making sure, when we put them behind that wheel, that they are capable and they are going to operate in a safe fashion."

Internal JTA accident reports show four other people have been hit by JTA buses since 2017. The I-TEAM learned all four drivers involved are still employed with JTA. 

Ford said in the last five years, JTA has increased safety training for drivers. But after the accident Saturday, he said, they have reiterated protocols about having one-on-one meetings with each bus operator.

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