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Iowa City bus driver accused of causing accident, leaving the scene

Vanessa Miller, CR Gazette –

A 35-year-old Iowa City bus driver was arrested Monday on suspicion of leaving the scene of an injury accident after police said he cut off a motorcycle, caused it to crash and didn’t stop or call police.

Jamar D. Collins, of Cedar Rapids, was driving a City of Iowa City transit bus about 2:30 p.m. Sept. 11 near the intersection of Upland Avenue and Court Street, according to an Iowa City police complaint.

As he approached the junction, Collins is accused of failing to fully obey a stop sign while also failing to yield right-of-way as he turned onto Court Street, according to the criminal complaint. Collins turned in front of a motorcycle that was nearing the intersection on Court Street, police reported.

“The motorcycle driver attempted evasive maneuvers to avoid colliding into the transit bus but lost control and crashed,” an officer reported.

The motorcyclist was injured, according to police. The driver’s condition was not made available.

Collins is accused of stopping the bus briefly to watch as the approaching motorcycle crashed, according to the complaint. He then drove away and left the scene of the accident without contacting the motorcyclist or checking on his injuries, police reported.

Collins didn’t call police about the crash, and he also failed to tell his transit supervisors, according to the complaint.

Witness accounts and video recordings corroborated the motorcyclist’s account of what happened.

He was booked and released from the Johnson County Jail.

Collins still was listed as a full-time bus driver with Iowa City on Tuesday morning, according to city officials. Chris O’Brien, director of the city’s transportation services, said his department is conducting its own investigation of what happened.

Collins, according to online court records, has a long history of driving violations in Iowa. He has been cited for 12 driving-related violations since 1994, including charges of driving with invalid license, speeding, failure to obey a traffic control device and failure to comply with safety regulations.

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