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Santa Rosa police investigating city bus accident

  • Santa Rosa firefighters move an injured person to an ambulance, Thursday, at Farmers Lane and Sonoma Avenue. (KENT PORTER/THE PRESS DEMOCRAT)

Santa Rosa Police are investigating whether a man who was struck and seriously injured by a city transit bus Thursday evening may have been drinking in advance of the 5:37 p.m. accident near Montgomery Village Shopping Center, authorities said.

Billy Arial, 47, had just spoken with the driver of the Santa Rosa CityBus when it pulled away from a bus stop on westbound Sonoma Avenue and he somehow ended up under the right side of the bus near the rear tires, police said.

Arial suffered open arm and leg fractures, as well as internal injuries in the accident between Farmers Lane and Hahman Drive, fire officials said.

He was in critical condition Friday at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Police Sgt. Craig Schwartz said Arial's drivers license gave an out-of-town address but said authorities weren't sure where he had been living.

Schwartz said video cameras that are standard on city buses might reveal more information about how the accident occurred.

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