Day after woman is killed by bus, RIDOT says plans in place to move Kennedy Plaza buses

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Police are still trying to determine what led to a bus striking and killing a pedestrian in Providence Wednesday morning.

According to police, 30-year-old Michelle Cagnon, of Cumberland, was struck and killed by a Peter Pan bus while she was crossing the street near Kennedy Plaza around 8 a.m.

Police said the driver, identified as Matthew J. Reidy of Taunton, was making a left turn from Washington Street at the time of the incident. An eyewitness said the victim was in the crosswalk at the time.

Cagnon’s family released the following statement Thursday about her death:

“We are heartbroken to share the news that Michelle Cagnon, of Cumberland, Rhode Island, has passed away.

Michelle was a graduate of Burrillville High School and New England College of Business. Since 2007, she was employed by Bank of America and most recently held the position of Private Banking Relationship Manager. She was a lover of dance, especially ballet, and donated her time at the Jasper School of Dance in Cumberland.

She was a wonderful daughter and sister who adored and doted upon her mother, niece and nephew.

We’re grateful for the outpouring of love and support from friends, family and the community. We thank you for your love and prayers.

We cannot even begin to express the heartache and pain our family is feeling and we ask for the respect of our privacy as we process this devastating time in our lives.”

Michelle Cagnon (Family photo)
Michelle Cagnon (Family photo)

Improving Kennedy Plaza safety 

This was not the first pedestrian accident in Kennedy Plaza.

Rhode Island Department of Transportation Director Peter Alviti sat down with Eyewitness News on Thursday to discuss the transportation hub’s plan for the future.

Because the plaza houses the downtown bus station, there are some safety concerns for people walking around the area.

“Certainly, local businesses in that area are not really happy with Kennedy Plaza being where it is and operating the way it is,” Alviti said.

He said the department is now planning to move the bus hub to the train station several blocks away at One Central Station.

“A modern facility that’s more convenient, safer,” he said. “Better, faster, safer for people to take the transit.”

In 2014, voters approved a $35 million dollar bond to pay for the project – but Alviti said the department plans to team up with the private sector and possibly make the project upwards of $100 million.

“It gives us an opportunity in developing a new bus hub,” he said. “To make it particularly safe and work with a private company to provide the kind of measure that would be suitable for that kind of activity to take place in.”

Police are still investigating Wednesday’s crash. According to Peter Pan, Reidy has an impeccable record.

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