Tour bus driver who hit and killed Skagway’s mayor in 2018 pleads guilty

The Washington, D.C., tour bus driver who accidentally hit and killed Skagway’s mayor and her mother during a trip to the nation’s capital has pleaded guilty. He now faces up to four years in jail for two counts of felony negligent homicide.

Skagway Mayor Monica Carlson and her mother Cora Louise Adams were in a crosswalk on Pennsylvania Avenue last December when driver Gerard James made an illegal left turn while talking on a cellphone. That’s according to video footage from inside the bus that emerged in court.

The 61-year-old mayor and her 85-year-old mother were hit taken to an area hospital where they were pronounced dead. The women had traveled to Washington as tourists to see the White House and its Christmas decorations.

The 45-year-old driver had decades of driving experience without major incidents and no criminal history, the court heard. His attorney said he accepted a plea deal because he wanted to take responsibility for his negligence.

He’s apologized to the family ahead of his sentencing which is slated for mid-November. Monica Carlson had been Skagway’s mayor since 2017. Her term is being completed by Andrew Cremata. Cremata said the community is still grieving.