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Bus Drivers Across Detroit Pay Homage To Fellow Driver After Death In Accident

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A bus adorned with a wreath in memory of Gregory Cotton. (WWJ/Vickie Thomas)

A bus adorned with a wreath in memory of Gregory Cotton. (WWJ/Vickie Thomas)

DETROIT (WWJ) – Family, friends and co-workers of a D-DOT bus driver killed on the job remembered him with a quiet moment during a busy day.

Bus drivers across the city paid homage to co-worker, Gregory Cotton, who was killed on the job reports WWJ’s City Beat reporter Vickie Thomas.

Bus Cotton (VThomas) 2At 10 a.m. Wednesday morning a moment of silence was observed for 49-year-old  Cotton — while his funeral was underway a few miles away.

Retired bus driver Bobby Donald was among those attending:

“It’s a big family, that’s what we are. We stand aside and behind each other,” he said.

According to the obituary Cotton leaves behind seven children.

Sgt. Eren Stephens said the driver was killed in the collision and five passengers were injured, although their conditions were not released.

Brandi Torbert was on the bus when it crashed on June 24. Torbert told WWJ’s Ron Dewey the driver seemed normal when she boarded the bus about four miles earlier at Cadillac and Harper avenues.

“The bus driver, he was going perfectly fine and then we thought he was going on the other side [of the road] to do a detour and turn down a street and then he just ran into the building. It happened so fast,” she said. “We tried to kick the door but we couldn’t get the door open so another man, he opened up the emergency window and we climbed out the window… One passenger bust his whole face, like, his blood was leaking everywhere. Another passenger bust his mouth open.”

Torbert, who was sitting in the back of the bus, wasn’t injured.

DDOT Director Dan Dirks spoke with WWJ after the accident:

“This is a tragic day for us at DDOT. We lost one of our own and it’s not something we take lightly,” Dirks said, holding back tears. “We’re a family at DDOT. Our thoughts and our prayers are out to the family of our driver and it’s just a sad day here… He was a veteran driver, that’s all I can tell you right now.”

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