A man was killed early Tuesday after a Metropolitan Transit Authority bus struck the boom lift he was operating, causing him to fall 11 feet, law enforcement officials said.
The 56-year-old man, who has not been identified, was moving the 120-foot lift off a big-rig near a construction site near Venice Boulevard and Wright Street in downtown Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles Police Department Central Traffic Division.
The engine portion of the lift was on Wright Street, with the lift hanging over a lane on westbound Venice Boulevard when it was struck by the bus about 3:25 a.m., said Detective Felix Padilla.
Neither the driver nor a passenger on the bus saw the lift until it was too late, he said. Speed was not a factor in the incident.
The man, who was unsecured in the basket, suffered severe head trauma when he fell. He was pronounced dead at an area hospital at 7:07 a.m., according to police.
The driver of the bus immediately pulled over after the impact, Padilla said.
"This is something that could have been avoided, definitely," he said. "Had he had a lookout or somebody to help him maneuver to the position safely, it could have been prevented."
The bus operator is on paid leave while Metro investigates the incident, said spokesman Marc Littman, who couldn't recall a similar incident.
"It's a very unfortunate incident. Metro extends its condolences to the victim's family," Littman said in an email.