The death of city bus driver William Pena on Wednesday morning dealt a big blow to those who worked with him at a Manhattan depot. Transit reporter Jose Martinez talks to the driver's coworkers and relatives.
On Wednesday, grief was heavy at the Manhattan bus depot where William Pena worked.
"We're grieving, you know? Takes time. It's just begun,” said brother Alex Pena.
The veteran driver's loved ones filed into the Michael J. Quill Bus Depot to share their sorrows with Pena's coworkers and to remember a devoted husband and father of a 17-year-old daughter.
"He was a great guy. He wasn't a guy, no trouble or nothing. He was a great guy, every way you can put it,” said Alex Pena.
"Well-respected, well respected. He's going to be missed. There's a lot of guys inside upset, they're really, really upset about losing him,” said Steven Bell.
The 17-year-veteran of New York City Transit was killed when a truck that police say had been stolen slammed into his bus.
That left colleagues and family members angry.
"It shouldn't have happened. It shouldn't have happened to him. And we regret that loss. He's just a great loss to society and to the union of Local 100 and the rest of his coworkers,” said Richard Davis of Transport Workers Union Local 100.
Fellow drivers said Pena enjoyed making early-morning runs along his longtime route.
"We drive together for almost 20 years. And he used to like the M14, where he died. He did that line for so many years. I don't remember seeing him on a different line,” said one retired bus driver.
In a statement, the MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas Prendergast said, "Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Pena's family, and we are working closely with law enforcement to ensure the perpetrator of this crime is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
Bus drivers said they were shaken by the circumstances of his death.
"You come to work, you know, everything is going good. And when you get tragedies like this, who's to say who's next?" said Bell.
Pena is the first city bus driver killed in the line of the duty since 2008, when Edwin Thomas was stabbed while operating a B46 in Brooklyn. And he's the first to die in an on-duty collision in more than 14 years.