Police ID man killed when SEPTA bus crashed into home, investigation continues

Authorities have identified the 52-year-old man who was killed Thursday when a SEPTA bus slammed into a Northeast Philadelphia home and say the circumstances of the crash remain under investigation.

James Robert Derbyshire of East Torresdale was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:30 p.m. Derbyshire was sharing an inflatable wading pool with his son and a woman, neighbors said, in front of his son’s home on Frankford Avenue when he was killed.

A bus carrying about 15 passengers ran a red light at the intersection of Morell Avenue and Frankford shortly before 6 p.m. and hit a Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ that were traveling on Frankford. The bus then jumped the curb, plowing through fence posts and shrubbery toward the three people before striking the home on the 9800 block of Frankford and coming to a stop, police said.

Derbyshire was visiting for his son’s wedding, neighbors said.

The other two people involved — a 28-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman — were transported to Jefferson Aria Hospital for treatment.

No charges have been filed related to the crash. Police said authorities are continuing to investigate what happened.

The T-intersection where Morrell meets Frankford has been the site of 14 crashes from 2011 to 2017, according to traffic data, though none had been fatal until Thursday.

SEPTA buses were involved in 214 collisions in 2017, with three incidents resulting in deaths, according to federal safety information. That’s fewer collisions than any year since 2013.

The 49-year-old bus driver, whose name has not been released, and the drivers of the other two vehicles involved also were taken to Jefferson Aria Hospital.

SEPTA declined to provide information on the driver’s history with the transit agency, citing an ongoing investigation.

The impact of the bus hitting the house caused a hole 10 feet wide and four feet high. The Department of Licenses and Inspections is checking out the safety of the house. In the meantime, the structure is being held up by a jack as a precaution.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Derbyshire was visiting for his daughter’s wedding.