New York City bus driver Idowu Daramola, 48, was allegedly talking on his phone when he smashed into a light pole, which then fell and killed 8-month-old Angelie Paredes
“We are taking steps to terminate him,” Kevin Ortiz said of Daramola. “Since he was a probationary employee, it will not be a lengthy process.”
Daramola, who has been an MTA bus operator since February of this year, was charged with “reckless driving, using a cell phone while operating a vehicle and death by auto” and granted $250,000 bail.
Daramola had open warrants for traffic charges for which he failed to appear in court, according to authorities. The outstanding warrants were for speeding, improperly letting off passengers and failing to stop at a stop sign in 2011, and a red-light camera violation last year.
His commercial driver license was issued by New York.
Deisy Bello, the court administrator for West New York, said New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle Commission automatically suspended his license and driving privileges when he failed to appear in court on one of his violations. New York’s Department of Motor Vehicles should also have received notice.
“After 9/11, there was an interstate compact that says the DMV in New Jersey is supposed to contact other states and other states are supposed to contact us,” said Bello.
Despite the reciprocal agreement, New York’s DMV did not get notice that Daramola had run afoul of the law in New Jersey.
“Mr. Daramola has a full and valid NYS commercial driver license,” said Peter Bucci, a spokesman for the New York State DMV. “There are no accidents or violations on his public driving record.”
Ortiz, at the MTA, said a background check and motor vehicle record search “turned up no problems.” Daramola, he said, would not have been hired if the agency had learned of the violations.