Retired light-rail dispatcher killed by VTA bus near San Jose’s Japantown

SAN JOSE — A retired light-rail dispatcher for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority was killed by a VTA bus near San Jose’s Japantown on the evening of March 23, VTA officials said. Milpitas resident Benny Cheung, 60, had recently retired after 37 years with the transit agency when he was killed. The VTA board honored him for his service in February, according to VTA spokeswoman Linh Hoang.

“We are mourning the loss of Benny Cheung,” Hoang said. “Our hearts go out to Mr. Cheung’s family, friends and former co-workers.”

The VTA has made grief counselors available to staff and placed the bus operator who hit Cheung on administrative leave.

The operator will remain on leave until drug-testing results are finalized, part of VTA protocol in collisions.

San Jose police investigators believe Cheung had just gotten off of a bus at North First Street and Hawthorne Way when he was hit around 7:50 p.m., Hoang said.

Police then responded to a report of a man lying in the roadway.

Officers found Cheung unconscious and not breathing with serious injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Line 66 is the only VTA bus that travels on North First Street.

It extends from Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center through downtown San Jose to Dixon Road in Milpitas

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