Bus Driver Placed on Probation After Plea in Fatal Accident

A Port Authority bus driver has been placed on probation for three years after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the death of a University of Pittsburgh student struck by the bus she was driving a year ago.

Shavonne James, 34, also pleaded guilty in Allegheny County Court to recklessly endangering another person in the death of 20-year-old Barbara Como of Chester Springs. Other charges of reckless driving, failure to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and operating an improperly equipped vehicle were withdrawn.

Authorities said James was driving in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood in January 2020 when she turned and hit Como, who was pronounced dead at UPMC Presbyterian. University officials said the senior was studying anthropology and psychology and was on track to graduate later in the year.

Defense attorney Nicole Nino called what happened that day a “tragic accident.”

“She is beyond sorry for the loss of life of this young, up-and-coming college student,” Nino said, the Tribune-Review reported. “She’s heartbroken.”