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Bus driver charged for death of 'Mr. Downtown'

By Emiley Morgan | Posted - Feb 23rd, 2013 @ 4:21pm

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SALT LAKE CITY — Charges have been filed against a Utah Transit Authority bus driver who hit and killed a prominent Salt Lake City businessman last year.

Cheryl Anne Kidd, 50, was charged with negligent operation causing personal injury, a class B misdemeanor, and failing to yield the right of way at a marked or unmarked crossway, an infraction, in Salt Lake City Justice Court Wednesday. Kidd was driving the bus that struck and killed Richard Wirick, known as "Mr. Downtown" near 400 South and 200 East on Feb. 21, 2012, Utah Transit Authority spokeswoman Erika Shubin confirmed.

Police said Wirick, who owned and managed the Oxford Shop shoe store, was walking in a crosswalk across the intersection when the traffic light turned green before he made it to the other side. The first two lanes of traffic stopped and waited for the man to finish crossing, but for unknown reasons, the bus was unable to stop, striking the man and pinning him for nearly 45 minutes.

Wirick was a fixture in the downtown business community for decades. He was the owner of the longest thriving men's shoe store in Salt Lake City and was involved in several local civic organizations.

Wirick was honored by the Downtown Alliance for exceptional contributions to the community and in receiving the award, his "dedication and commitment" to the business environment were noted. He was given the title "Mr. Downtown" by the Vest Pocket Coalition in 2006.

Kidd was placed on paid administrative leave following the incident per UTA policy. Shubin said Saturday that Kidd is no longer a UTA employee.

An arraignment hearing is set for March 22.


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