Eureka Police Capt. Steve Watson said the department’s preliminary investigation indicates that Rice was causing a disturbance at a bus stop near the intersection of Fifth and O streets at about 11:30 a.m. on Friday. Rice was banging on the doors of the Redwood Transit Authority bus, Watson said, when the bus began to pull away from the curb, causing Rice to step back.
“Then, as the bus was pulling out and starting to merge into traffic, he leaned in to pound on the side of the bus,” Watson said. “He appeared to lose his balance and fell under the rear wheel of the bus as it was pulling into traffic.”
Rice was transported to St. Joseph Hospital for treatment, but was “eventually declared deceased as a result of those injuries,” according to a press release from the coroner’s office.
Watson said Rice’s potential “level of intoxication” at the time of the accident remains under investigation. He asked anyone with information about the accident to call EPD traffic officer Tim Jones at 441-4109.
The Humboldt County Coroner’s Office has identified the pedestrian run over by a bus Friday morning as 35-year-old Thomas William Rice, of Eureka.