Bus driver who hit and killed Skagway mayor sentenced to 6 months in prison

Monica Carlson and husband Bob Carlson. (Photo Courtesy of Allison Wilson)

The driver who hit and killed Skagway’s mayor and her mother during a 2018 visit to Washington, D.C., was sentenced March 9.

Skagway Mayor Monica Carlson and her mother Cora Louise Adams were in a crosswalk on Pennsylvania Avenue when the driver made an illegal left turn, according to court documents. The 61 year-old mayor and her 85 year-old mother were hit and taken to an area hospital where they were pronounced dead. The women were sightseeing and planned to view the White House’s Christmas decorations.

Tour bus driver Gerard James pleaded guilty to two counts of negligent homicide and faced up to four years in prison. He’ll serve at least six months. Superior Court Judge Danya A. Dayson delivered a sentence of 48 months, but suspended most of that time.

The 45-year-old driver had decades of driving experience without major incidents and no criminal history. James’ attorney Todd Baldwin said his client felt tremendous remorse. He says the man has since tattooed the two women’s names on his chest, above his heart.

Baldwin claimed the streetlights above the intersection were out at the time of the accident in December of 2018.

Monica Carlson had been Skagway’s mayor since 2017. Mayor Andrew Cremata finished her term, which expired last year.

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