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Bus driver charged after hitting a man and leaving the scene

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Posted at 12:58 PM, Feb 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-28 12:58:41-05

LANSING, Mich. — The woman behind the wheel of a Dean Transportation bus that hit a man and allegedly left him for dead has been charged.

Olivette Drane, 56 from Lansing, is charged with failure to stop at a scene of an accident when at fault resulting in death.

She hasn't been arraigned yet but the charge is a felony, punishable up to 15 years.

The person hit by the bus was 60-year-old Dennis Palomo of Lansing, who died six weeks after he was struck by the school bus while crossing a city street in October 2019.

He died on Friday, November 29 from his injuries.

Lansing Police were dispatched to the area of north Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. near Filley Street on Monday, Oct. 21 at approximately 7:37 a.m. for a report of a pedestrian being hit by a bus.

Witnesses told officers a yellow bus drove off after the man was struck, Lansing police said.

Palomo was transported by the Lansing Fire Department to the hospital with critical injuries.

At the time of the accident, Dean Transportation acknowledged one of its buses was involved in the crash in a press release. They also released the following statement:

"We are deeply saddened for the family of the individual involved in this tragic accident and our hearts and prayers go out to them. Day in and day out, our drivers are keenly focused on transporting people safely to and from their destinations while serving as strong community-focused advocates. This incident has shaken our entire organization. We remain deeply committed to understanding how this accident happened and are working with the agencies involved in the investigation.”

Palomo's family and friends say he was the epitome of a good person.

"I worked with him, grew up with him, went to school with him,” said Palomo’s friend Stan Shuck. “We played football and sports together, it was your average little rascals neighborhood, and we were the little rascals."

Lansing Police Public Information Director Robert Merritt says children were on the bus at the time of the crash but no one was injured.

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