Ex-JTA bus driver charged with manslaughter after woman dragged, killed

Jean Silney held in Duval County jail on $500,000 bond

By Kelly Wiley - I-TEAM reporter, Maggie Lorenz - Multi-media journalist

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - An ex-Jacksonville Transportation Authority bus driver has been arrested after a woman was killed when she became entangled while exiting a bus in Mayport.

Jean Marais Silney, 53, was arrested Wednesday and charged with manslaughter and vehicular homicide. He made his first appearance on the charges Thursday morning and was ordered held on $500,000 bond. His arraignment is set for Oct. 31.

According to Asst. Chief Brian Kee, homicide investigators determined there was an argument on the bus between Silney and the victim, Jeanie Rozar, over the bus schedule. Kee said investigators obtained video of the argument, which showed Rozar exiting the bus.

The video, Kee said, showed Rozar's arm closed in the bus's glass door, and the bus took off at a high rate of speed and back into traffic. According to Kee, the video shows Rozar running next to the bus, attempting to free her arm before she was run over by the bus.

Dwayne Russell, president of Amalgamated Transit Union 1197, is one of only a few people who have seen the video. Neither the Sheriff's Office nor JTA will release the video due to its graphic nature.

"He tried to make a call to dispatch, but he couldn't pull himself together because he was hysterical," Russell said. "It saddened me. Just watching his reaction because it was that bad."

A statement from JTA reads:

"Since this accident occurred, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) has fully cooperated with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and its investigation. The JTA will continue to do so as this criminal matter proceeds."

A News4Jax I-TEAM investigation uncovered Silney had past incidents mentioned in his personnel file. Among other things, he was written up for being rude to a passenger and hitting a bicyclist in a crosswalk. He was fired in 2018 after nearly running over his supervisor, but he was hired back after appealing with help of the union. 

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