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Woman Hit by Bus in Downtown Sacramento

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SACRAMENTO--

Traffic at Fifth and N streets was halted for five hours as crime scene technicians processed the scene of an accident in which an El Dorado Transit commuter bus hit a pedestrian.

Witnesses say a woman whose identity hasn't been released was hit as she crossed N Street in the crosswalk. She was dragged 40 feet down the street and was pinned under the front of the bus.

"It was hard to see," said Richard Castle, who lives in a townhouse across the street.

Others heard screams as the woman waited for a fire rescue team to use hydraulic equipment to raise the bus before she was taken to a local hospital with serious injuries.

The bus was apparently making a turn from Fifth Street on to N Street. The victim's back would have been to the bus as she crossed.

"You have to be careful -- a green light to turn right is also a pedestrian green light, so you really got to pay attention to pedestrians," said Shawn Rasmussen, who lives nearby.

Some witnesses say the victim was not on a phone or otherwise distracted while she was crossing the street.

Security cameras in a building on the corner will likely help investigators, as will video from the bus driver's view camera. Investigators are not saying yet how the accident happened or who may have been at fault.

El Dorado Transit says the driver was taken off the job for the rest of the day after the accident, although they did not say how long the driver will be off work.

El Dorado Transit says it runs 11 buses from the foothills along Highway 50 into downtown Sacramento each day, and that its drivers are well versed in the routes and traffic patterns in the downtown area.

In December, a cab driver hit a pedestrian in a crosswalk on 5th and P streets. A Sacramento police spokesperson says it initiated a traffic and pedestrian awareness program in the area last summer.