Metro Transit bus driver who died driving down Nicollet Mall had history of weight issues

nicolletBusCrash.jpg
Jennifer Brooks on Twitter
The aftermath of the incident.
Around 10 a.m. Friday, a Metro Transit No. 10 bus veered off Nicollet Mall, hitting a lamppost, trash bins, and the WCCO TV building in the process.

Riders reported that the driver was apparently having some sort of medical emergency in the moments before his bus veered off course, and he ended up being pronounced dead about an hour later.

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Edina resident John Senior Jr. "suffered a sudden collpase [sic], while driving a bus, attributable to apparent natural causes," a release from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner says.

Senior Jr. started driving bus for Metro Transit last summer. At the time of his death, the 6-1 58-year-old weighed 350 pounds, according to a Metro Transit Police Department report.

The Star Tribune reports Senior Jr. lost his job with the Edina Fire Department back in 1988 when his weight reached 400 pounds, but in an email, Metro Transit spokesman John Siqveland tells us he was deemed fit enough to drive a bus when he was hired on May 6 of last year.

"All bus operators must be medically certified by a Metro Transit-approved physician before they are hired and they are required to renew their medical certifications at least every two years thereafter," Siqveland writes. "These medical certifications are a Department of Transportation requirement to possess a Commercial Driver's License."

A rider and a bicyclist who was clipped by Senior Jr.'s bus were injured during the incident, but both are expected to be all right.

As you'd expect, folks who were out and about in downtown Minneapolis when the incident occurred snapped photos of the aftermath and posted them to Twitter. Here's a sampling: Send your story tips to the author, Aaron Rupar. Follow him on Twitter @atrupar.



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61 comments
Stefanie Megan Brown
Stefanie Megan Brown

I can't take sides on this one. Il feel like it was just an accident & I really feel like this isn't a good time to play the blame game........

Shawn Taylor
Shawn Taylor

My point is that they should give people whom doctors determine their weight could play a factor in their health an incentive to use the gym.

Naomi Lund
Naomi Lund

Condolences to the man's family. I am glad no one was hurt, seriously, this kind of thing could happen to anyone.

Jon Eisenberg
Jon Eisenberg

How many City Pages owners, editors and managers have a "history of weight issues"?

Bindibop
Bindibop

"...the 6-1 58-year-old..."

Wha???

Denny Bell
Denny Bell

They do have small exercise rooms at each garage and we don't get paid to use them

Jeremy Hop
Jeremy Hop

Sedentary jobs, such as driving long hours contributes to weight/health problems. I ride transit and see many of the drivers overweight. Metro Transit should provide incentives and/or a program to help their employees maintain an active lifestyle. Lets not forget that being overweight is a health problem -- those who deny that are just being way too PC...

k2yeb
k2yeb topcommenter

Sounds like 60% of this county. Shame on you for the tacky title.

Matt Mortensen
Matt Mortensen

I'm a big person and can say that's a wonderful idea

Matt Mortensen
Matt Mortensen

I've been a big person literally my whole life and this is really offending, you could just of said he died of Natural Causes. I can tell you right now City Pages if you ever did that too me, I'd make you pay for it or someone close to me would to. I've decided that you can now pay for this man's Funeral, it's the least you can do. Your Apology isn't accepted!!!!!!!!

Amanda Scott
Amanda Scott

Just so you guys know metro transit does offer a work out room for employees its not state of the art but its there they have different kind of work out maschines and weights and they offer alot of weight loss programs and incentives

Shawn Laughton
Shawn Laughton

Fuck you city pages. Some of your shit you put up is ridiculosn

Anna Bergdall
Anna Bergdall

I was saying it to the OP, perpetuating the myth that fat people are always unhealthier than non-fat people and in so being are somehow stealing other people's rights.

Jeremy Martin
Jeremy Martin

City Pages Editors have a history of poor decision making.

Holly Johnson
Holly Johnson

It wasn't a weight "issue" until people commenting made it one. They simply were stating a fact with a headline. Could they have left it out? Sure. What's the difference? If anything, it will be a red flag that metro transit needs to make sure their employees are getting the required physicals before operating the machines. Everyone should be thankful more people weren't injured or killed! God rest this mans soul.

Paul Watson
Paul Watson

Were they natural cause weight issues?

Evan Shanley
Evan Shanley

I agree that his weight should not be the center of this story, but I have learned we have some exceedingly trashy people around here. If you can't make your point without using grossly explicit language, then you're obviously making up for a sheer lack of intelligence.

Jesse Spalding
Jesse Spalding

No one dies naturally at the age of 58 with no health issues. If they found nothing else wrong with him at the time of his death, then what else?

Keyser Söze
Keyser Söze

I've done CPR on more skinny people than I have overweight people. Sudden Cardiac Arrest can effect anyone. Just because your skinny doesn't make you healthy and in shape.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

i heard he crashed because of gay issues

Lynne Rollins
Lynne Rollins

Shawn I am not a transit driver, I wasn't saying that I was asking if I should be discriminated against due to it for any job.

Lynne Rollins
Lynne Rollins

Oh I thought you were telling me to STFU Anna. LOL

Louie Lu Lettuce
Louie Lu Lettuce

Another thing I've learned about MN: People aren't allowed to die in peace.

Michele Andrews
Michele Andrews

It states he was medically cleared to work so now City Pages is playing doctor and making weight an issue? Tacky and sleazy.

Joseph Bartel
Joseph Bartel

Fuck City Pages, you guys are a disgusting tabloid trash.

Shawn Taylor
Shawn Taylor

I did read the story. But the fact of the matter is that he passed it 6 months ago. A lot can change in 6 months. They also stated that he died of natural causes. I find that strange, because even an 80 year old doesn't die of natural causes anymore, it is always related to something else, even a heart attack. They are using the natural causes line because they don't want to say it was something that his weight contributed to. If people other than him would have died in this incident, everyone would be all over this saying that his weight had a factor in it. We are just fortunate that nobody got killed as a result of the bus being out of control.

Lorna Grant
Lorna Grant

Read the story again, he passed the required physical over a year after he was fired from his last job in order to work for Metro Transit. (In May of 2013 he started bus driving and had passed the physical)

Kaia Rubin
Kaia Rubin

Way to go city pages ! Fat shaming a dead person ...

Shawn Taylor
Shawn Taylor

Read the story people. He was fired from his previous job because of his weight issues. Not simply because he had a weight issue, but because it prevented him from doing his job correctly.

James Booen
James Booen

Ha! So does 90% +- of the population!!

Lynne Rollins
Lynne Rollins

I am surely not denying that weight is not favorable for healthy lives. But just feel this whole weight issue is not kind as all media outlets are reporting it while there was no proof it caused his death. People who are thin have heart attacks and strokes often without any specific reasons. I just feel badly for the guy and his family.

Dee Bailey Carroll
Dee Bailey Carroll

This is totally inappropriate!! Get some ethics City Pages Minneapolis!!

Shawn Taylor
Shawn Taylor

If you want to make his weight/health a story, maybe metro transit should offer a gym at their facility, and require those whom don't meet certain requirements to use it 1 hr a day, while being paid. A healthy workforce will do much better work for you, and save you money on your health insurance premiums.

Laura Heurung
Laura Heurung

Great headline. Really mind blowing suspense created here. Can we move on?

Jeff55414
Jeff55414

Well, that settles it. Government must now mandate that all insurance companies provide free liposuction to overweight bus drivers. Because we all know, much like having unprotected sex, overeating is beyond the control of individuals. 

Anna Bergdall
Anna Bergdall

Is that meant for me? I'm agreeing with you, Lynne.

Jason Schueppert
Jason Schueppert

They tried to fire him for years from the fire department. Didn't do any actual fire fighting since 1984, but was on the payroll for years after that.

Anna Bergdall
Anna Bergdall

Oh shut the fuck up with the lie that being overweight is personally irresponsible to others.

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

Fuck you Shawn - don't read it then.

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@Jeff55414 Gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins - maybe you asshat Republifucks should start focusing on that as you've obviously lost your anti-gay crusade. 

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