TriMet driver charged for ‘endangering’ 30 passengers

Multnomah County
File photo of TriMet bus_1519156904317.PNG.jpg

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The TriMet bus driver accused of being impaired behind the wheel with more than 2 dozen passengers on-board is now facing formal criminal charges. 

On Tuesday, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office filed a 7-page, 32-count charging document against Lamont Biggs. 

He is charged with one count each of driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII), reckless driving and 30 counts of recklessly endangering another person. All of the charges are misdemeanors and stem from a Feb. 20 incident in Gresham. 

KOIN 6 News has learned that each recklessly endangering count is for each passenger who was on the bus at the time of the incident. 

Initially, Gresham police said there was only one passenger on the bus; however, a subsequent report was submitted to the DA’s Office, which identified additional passengers.

According to Gresham police, a traffic officer was on patrol when he spotted a TriMet bus traveling at a high rate of speed. The officer stopped the vehicle and began an investigation into potential moving violations. 

During that initial investigation, a Gresham police spokesperson said the officer conducted a field sobriety test and determined that Biggs was operating the bus while under the influence of intoxicants. 

Biggs was arraigned on Tuesday at the Multnomah County Justice Center. He has retained criminal defense attorney Barry W. Engle. 

Engle said Biggs has been a TriMet driver for 2 years and said, according to preliminary indications, that Biggs is pre-diabetic and was having a “low-blood sugar incident.” 

“We look forward to reviewing the evidence in this case because Tri-Met buses are continually video taped on board as a security measure for the drivers and passengers,” Engle said. “Therefore, he was on video almost the entire 7 hours before his arrest. We fully expect the video in this case to exonerate him.”

KOIN 6 News has reached out to Engle for comment, but we have not heard back from him. 

On Tuesday, KOIN 6 News reached out to TriMet for comment. Due to an inadvertent error, the request was sent to the wrong agency and TriMet did not receive the email request. A TriMet spokesperson alerted KOIN of the discrepancy on Wednesday afternoon.

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