JTA fires bus operator after Mayport passenger dragged, killed

Friends, neighbors want answers in JTA bus death

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Transportation Authority fired the bus operator who was behind the wheel when a passenger was dragged and killed in Mayport on Saturday.

“Following an internal administrative review of the fatal accident that occurred Saturday, June 20, 2019, in Mayport Village, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority has terminated bus operator Jean Silney for violating JTA Operator Work Rules,” said JTA spokesperson David Cawton.


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Cawton said Silney had been a JTA employee for nearly 12 years.

Action News Jax has learned JTA’s older bus models, like the one that killed Jeanie Rozar, do not have sensors in the doors that alert the bus operator if a passenger or item gets stuck.

Cawton confirmed JTA’s newer bus models do have sensors.

Two witnesses told Action News Jax Rozar's arm got caught in the door before she was dragged and run over.

It happened on Ocean Street near the intersection with Pearl Street.

Billy Bentzel said he’s been having nightmares since he watched Rozar die just 20 minutes after they were talking outside a nearby convenience store.

He said he can’t stop worrying about her daughter, who will have to grow up without her mother.

“I just want some justice for this little girl,” Bentzel said.

Bentzel said he yelled for the bus operator to stop as he watched Rozar get pulled under the front wheel.

“I hollered and screamed. And then I ran to her. And she raised up one time, and that was it. I closed her eyes,” Bentzel said.

On Monday, one family member became so emotional she got sick in the grass after walking past the bus stop.

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“She will be missed. She was a good neighbor and I know her daughter will have an angel looking down,” Rozar’s neighbor Lesley Curry said.

Rozar’s friends are creating memorials on both sides of the street to commemorate her life.

Summer Camp hammered a cross into the ground with blue decorations and a painted seashell.

“I made a little spot of peace for her,” said Camp, who said she’s known Jeanie Rozar for 20 years. “I put blue because of the ocean. She liked the water.”

Cawton said there are seven or eight cameras inside and outside this bus.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said that footage will be crucial in its investigation.