Woman seeks answers after fatal fall on MTA bus

Posted at 6:53 PM, Mar 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-11 18:53:55-05
A Baltimore County woman is lashing out at the way she says the MTA Mobility service handled a medical emergency with her disabled mother. Doretha Stewart, 78, suffered a head injury while on a bus in September. She died shortly after.
Doreen Toran, Stewart's daughter, says the situation was mishandled from beginning to end. She has a million questions following her mother's death.
"My mom was coming from dialysis," Toran said. "She was on the Mobility bus. The Mobility bus dropped her off in front of her house on Old Court Road. As she got up from the bus, she fell backwards and she hit her head."
Toran was her mother's emergency contact. She says Transdev, the operator of the MTA Mobility buses, never called to tell her that her mother was hurt and had to be rushed to the hospital.
"I usually get a phone call from Mobility if she's late for her bus or she missed her bus," she said. "But this particular time and after this situation, I never received a phone call in regards to her fall." 
While in the hospital, Stewart came to briefly, to let her daughter know what she remembered. She slipped into a coma and died three weeks after the accident from a brain hemorrhage. 
"After her fall, after she was hospitalized, I called Mobility, the MTA several times," Toran said. "I was transferred to five different people, each person transferred me. I even talked to the attorney. She told me that she would look into the case, but I never received a call."
Toran said she wasn't able to get a copy of the incident report or any information about her mother's fall.
"It was very appalling, it was sad," she said "That I had made the call and that information wasn't in their data or that nobody from MTA had given me a call, just to see how Doretha Stewart had been."
Toran was even more horrified to receive a letter in the mail from MTA, months after her mother's death. The letter stated that her mother's bus service would be suspended for a week because she had missed nine dates in September. They were the dates she was in the hospital.
"It's been five months since she passed away on Sept. 22nd and I'm just receiving a letter from MTA that her Mobility services have been rejected," she said.
She said the letter was insensitive and that MTA and Transdev need to come up with a better system to notify clients' families in an emergency and keep them informed, and make sure all departments are on the same page.
"I'm speaking out for several reasons," Toran said. "For that, to make sure that other consumers on there are taken care of and to make sure that the emergency contact people, person is contacted in a timely manner and just to get some feedback that we're sorry that that happened." 
ABC2 reached out to the MTA several times for an interview. MTA spokeswoman Sandy Arnette directed us to contact Mobility contractor Transdev. 
When reached by phone, Transdev's Baltimore General Manager Scott Forman said the company is working on a statement to provide to me. ABC2 is still waiting for that statement.