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“The impact, it was terrible…” fatal Santa Barbara bus crash witness describes “horrifying” scene

Santa Barbara Police have identified the woman killed in Wednesday’s Metropolitan Transit District bus cash in downtown Santa Barbara.

67-year-old Eve Debra Johnson was sitting at an MTD bus stop bench when she was run over, It’s an incident that has left many rattled and searching for closure.

Friend’s of Eve tell us she graduated from Santa Barbara High School, class of 1971.

A woman identifying herself as Eve’s sister says she had a large family presence in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. The woman tells us that Eve is survived by a sister and a brother, a niece and nephew, two grand nephews and many cousins.

Even those who didn’t know the woman personally are mourning her loss.

“Just feels so surreal that everything around us is just a normal day and then there’s this one little pocket with so many people and we’re all so devastated,” said Eamon Burke who witnesses the fatal crash.

Snapped branches still line the scene, through caution tape and evidence markings a small memorial has taken shape.

17-year-old Eamon Burke’s heart is racing, pulling into the MTD transit hub parking lot made him nauseous. “It was a horrible thing to be a part of and I just wanted some closure,” he said.

Burke and his mom were on their way to get some Indian food around the corner Wednesday afternoon when a bus continued turning on Figueroa Street, driving up onto the sidewalk, hitting two people before coming to a rest just feet from Burke’s car.

“We rounded this corner right here and as soon as we rounded, my mom pointed out the bus immediately told me to back up. I slammed on the breaks and if we were a few feet forward I don’t know where I’d be right now,” said Burke.

The Santa Barbara High Student says he can still see the impact clear as day.

“As soon as it happened I jumped out of the car and called 9-1-1. There were people recording on their cell phones and that was pretty hard to watch, I had to tell them, why are you standing around someone call 9-11 there’s a dead body right in front of us,” said the teen.

Although Burke didn’t know 67-year-old Eve Johnson he and his mother hope they can attend her memorial service.

“I’m so sorry it’s such a freak accident, I wouldn’t wish a worse thing on anyone and I’m so sorry,” said Burke.

MTD released a statement to us Thursday in light of the incident:

MTD offers our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the individuals involved.

MTD is cooperating fully with the investigation being conducted by the Santa Barbara Police Department, and due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, no additional information is available at this time.

KEYT 2019

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