JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Transportation Authority bus operator accused of running over and killing a mother on Saturday in Mayport has a history of complaints from riders and documented issues.
Jean Silney was reportedly driving the JTA bus when Jeanie Rozar, a local woman, was dragged and run over Saturday.
Action News Jax's Christy Turner has been going through Silney's personnel and found he was fired in December 2018 and brought back in January.
A supervisor said Silney nearly ran over her foot during an argument and had to jump out of the way.
Silney's termination was overturned and he was suspended until late January, which is why he was behind the wheel when he dragged and ran over Rozar on Saturday.
Silney started with JTA in 2007 and was fired Monday. His personnel file shows he's been written up for several issues, including in 2013, he was charged for a preventable accident. Documents say he hit a bicyclist in the crosswalk.
According to the narrative in documents from JTA, “Operator making a left turn failed to see the bícyclist in the crosswalk striking the bike with the left front of bus. Driver díd not stop and ran over the bike with the rear dual tires, missing the bicyclist as he remained motionless in the street.”
We've also uncovered seven complaints riders made against Silney in the past two years. Of those complaints, only two were validated -- one about his behavior and another about improper procedure when dropping off a passenger.
With regard to Saturday's incident, the JTA said Silney violated several policies and provided more specific violations, including that the he failed to confirm the doors were closed before allowing the bus to move, as well as failure to be alert for any condition that may cause injury or damage.
The JTA said Silney also failed to follow standard operating procedure and displayed conduct unbecoming an operator.
The JTA said it will not release any additional comments regarding the incident until the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office completes its investigation.
The model of bus involved in the incident is older and does not have sensors in the doors to alert the bus driver if something is stuck. The JTA’s newer model buses do have those sensors.
A memorial for Rozar was set up across from the bus stop where the incident happened.
Attorney Finley Williams, who represents Silney, released the following statement:
"I represent Jean Silney. His family and our office express sincere condolences to Ms. Rozar's family. Mr. Silney retired from the Navy in 2006 and has lived in Jacksonville ever since. He has been a loyal employee of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority for almost 12 years. Although Mr. Silney disagrees with the statements issued by JTA, he has and will continue to fully cooperate with the JSO's and JTA's investigation. He is withholding further comment until those investigations conclude."
Cox Media Group