Bus strikes pedestrian | ParkRecord.com

Bus strikes pedestrian

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

It doesn’t matter if it is a quick room-service breakfast or a leisurely lunch that Julie Malecki brings to guests at Hotel Park City.

Nick Orwin, her manager at the hotel, says she is always a "ray of sunshine."

"She comes in smiling every day," he said. "You always get a ‘Good morning,’ ‘Good afternoon,’ ‘Good evening.’"

He talks of Malecki being well organized and "consistently reliable."

Orwin and others at the hotel late in the week continued to express their concern for Malecki, who remained hospitalized in Salt Lake City Friday morning after a Park City bus struck her Tuesday as she tried to cross from the east side of S.R. 224 to the west side of the busy state highway at its intersection with Holiday Ranch Loop Road and Payday Drive.

It was a rare accident involving a pedestrian and a city bus, and it came as Park City tries to portray itself as a place that pedestrians, bicyclists and others not driving cars can easily navigate.

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A spokeswoman at University Hospital in Salt Lake City on Friday morning said Malecki, who is 63 years old, was in fair condition. The hospital did not release information about her injuries. A Utah Highway Patrol trooper indicated she might have suffered head and neck injuries, and she was knocked unconscious after the bus hit her.

The UHP continues to investigate the accident. Landon Middaugh, a trooper who is investigating, said charges are pending against the driver, a 38-year-old man from West Valley City.

According to Middaugh, she was crossing in a crosswalk and with a green light when the bus driver turned left from Holiday Ranch Loop Road onto southbound S.R. 224. Malecki, who was carrying cross-country skis and poles, walked across four lanes of traffic before the passenger side of the front of the bus hit her, Middaugh said.

The accident threw her to the ground, he said, and an ambulance took her to the hospital.

Middaugh said it appears the driver failed to yield to her, and witnesses told the investigators the driver did not see Malecki. Nobody on the bus was injured.

City officials said the driver submitted to drug and alcohol testing, and he was placed on standard administrative leave.

"Right now, our primary concern is the well-being of the individual," said Kent Cashel, the Public Works official who oversees the transit system.

Orwin at the hotel said Malecki’s husband called with the information that she had been injured. The hotel workers are pulling for her, he said.

"It happened to one of the most wonderful persons I know," he said. "We all love her. We all miss her. I’d even say we’re all praying for her."