June 20, 2024

Whole Community News

From Kalapuya lands in the Willamette watershed

Family hopes to prevent future attacks on LTD bus passengers

4 min read
After her father was killed on an EmX bus, Jennifer Sanders is demanding that Lane Transit District improve security for its drivers and passengers.

The daughter of Travis Allen Sanders wants LTD to make sure that the buses are safe to ride. Her father was killed while riding an EmX bus in 2022. She said that while drivers reached out to her family, the (Lane) Transit District did not.

[00:00:15] Jennifer Sanders: A lot of the bus drivers reaching out to our family after his death—that meant a lot. And for the fact that LTD never stepped up, never called us, they didn’t personally approach us at all.

[00:00:27] After seeing LTD’s deflection about stating that it’s not just their problem, ‘It’s a whole community problem.’ Yeah, we already know there’s a lot of community problems, but the thing is, it still happens on your bus too. You should be aware if it’s a whole community problem, that it’s also affecting your bus line. They should take accountability for that knowing that these people that they’re aware of are coming on to their buses. But yet they’re not giving the security to make sure that nothing happens.

[00:00:58] They said that he’s the first death on an LTD bus. I don’t want to have my dad thought of being the first murder on a community bus.

[00:01:09] John Q: She said her dad didn’t need to be on the bus. He chose to ride the bus because he was saving for a trip.

[00:01:17] Jennifer Sanders: It really bothers me, because we have vehicles. All of our family, we all have working vehicles. We have access to vehicles. And so I want to let people know that he was not an everyday bus rider that would have known. Sometimes you hear after a while, people riding the bus, they tend to protect themselves more, and stuff. But if you’re not used to being on the bus and hearing what’s going on, then you have that false security.

[00:01:44] My dad was on a fixed income because he was on disability and so he was actually driving around Eugene collecting cans. And then since gas and everything else was going up, he had a bus pass that was given to him by his medical insurance after one of his surgeries. So he decided that he would start saving money so he could fly out to go see his son graduate. We have an 18-year-old brother that lives in Florida and he was getting ready to graduate with honors.

[00:02:15] And for the fact that we didn’t hear about the assault on the bus driver, or any other assaults happening to people, because they kept burying the stories and not making it public, you don’t hear anything that goes on the bus. So that gave basically false safety to riding the bus. That’s how I look at it.

[00:02:34] They need to actually have physical people there to make sure, to be a presence. So they know that people can’t get away with some of the crime that’s going on, especially with all the drug use, the OD’ing (overdosing) we’ve seen or heard about through some of the podcasting from the union, about how many people were being taken to, you know, PeaceHealth for OD’ing.

[00:02:59] They said that the stories are getting buried. And I think that’s what upset me the most, to give false security about taking the bus.

[00:03:07] John Q: She said after filing a lawsuit against LTD, the family has learned more about the attacker.

[00:03:14] Jennifer Sanders: I’m getting information from different people how his behavior was before he got on the bus. I just want to make people aware. Unfortunately, in these times and days, we have to kind of pick and choose who we actually engage with, because you never know what’s going to set somebody off.

[00:03:30] And for me, I just want to make people, I know that people have to take the bus, that’s their only option. I just want people just to just be aware of their surroundings, and, like I said, if you can try to avoid (sorry to say) interacting with people, just because you just don’t know what kind of mindset that they’re actually in. And you never know what’s going to happen.

[00:03:54] So, just kind of do your due diligence and again, watch your surroundings. And if they see something, hear something, especially when we found out that people are still getting on the buses with guns, knives…out here a lot of the bus drivers are afraid for their safety.

[00:04:10] I even think they should get hazard pay for being out there, having to deal with all this because it’s, again, from what I heard, from the other bus driver’s statement: ‘They always thought it was going to be a driver before a passenger.’

[00:04:25] John Q: She asked witnesses to the Nov. 19, 2022 attack to send email.

[00:04:32] Jennifer Sanders: We’re still looking for people. If they see something, say something. If someone wants to come forward, if they want to email me, my email address is Jennifer.Sanders1920@yahoo.com. And if they have something that my lawyer can use, I can pass it on to my lawyer. Thank you so much.

[00:04:51] John Q: The family of Travis Allen Sanders hopes to change LTD, to staff the buses with people trained to intervene as needed to keep passengers safe.

Lane Transit District declined to comment on this story, stating: “LTD does not comment about pending litigation.”

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