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CTA plans to discuss settlement for family of woman killed by bus

Chicago police CTA officials investigate scene an accident thkilled woman AddisNatomNew Years Eve December 31 2007. The woman was struck

Chicago police and CTA officials investigate the scene of an accident that killed a woman at Addison and Natoma on New Years Eve, December 31, 2007. The woman was struck by a CTA bus traveling west on Addison. | Allen Kaleta~For Pioneer Press

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Updated: December 15, 2012 6:26AM

The family of a Polish immigrant killed when a CTA bus ran her over as she took a bike off the front rack may get millions in a settlement with the transit agency.

The CTA Board will discuss Wednesday a recommended settlement of $5.45 million to the family of Ludwika Szynalik, a 59-year-old woman killed on New Year’s Eve in 2007 while getting off the No. 152 Addison bus on the Northwest Side.

The gruesome accident was captured on CTA surveillance and shows the bus driver running Szynalik over and dragging her body for what lawyers say was nearly 80 feet before realizing what happened. The woman, wearing a yellow hooded raincoat, was directly in front of the bike rack when she was hit.

“Clearly the driver was not paying attention to where he should have been paying attention,” said attorney Tim Cavanagh in 2008 when announcing the suit. “He was not doing his job and it cost Ludwika her life.”

At the time, the bus driver was ticketed and later suspended without pay. But the man was soon fired after “it was determined the driver exhibited negligence,” CTA spokeswoman Tammy Chase said.

Since then, CTA has placed stickers on buses, asking bicyclists to remind drivers about taking bikes off the front rack. Bus drivers also have received additional “re-training” on proper bike rack procedures and the city has released a video aimed at bike and bus safety, Chase said.

The settlement also will be discussed in court Wednesday afternoon.

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