It’s the end of the year and that means it’s time for all of the top lists of 2012 to start coming out. I love lists, whether it’s “best” lists, “worst” lists or my own “to-do” list. And while we track a variety of metrics for our website so we know what people are looking for, I always find it interesting to see what the top viewed items of the year were. Below are the two top viewed stories on our site for the year, along with some follow-up information.
Woman Raped on Bus as Onlookers Ignore Incident
For 2012, the most viewed news story happened just last month. An 18-year-old mentally disabled woman boarded an LA county bus in Culver City after returning from school. With the mental capacity of a 10-year old, this was a trip she had just recently been allowed to make on her own.
Kerry Trotter, 20, boarded and raped her at the back of the bus. He was arrested a few days later from an anonymous tip by someone who saw his image from the bus surveillance video that was released to the public.
He was on probation for a grand theft conviction from earlier in the year and was also previously investigated for sexual assault but no charges were ever filed. He pled not guilty to one count each of forcible rape and rape of an incompetent person and two counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object. If convicted, he faces more than 20 years in prison.
Teen Killed Putting His Head Out Emergency Hatch of Bus
Daniel Fernandez, 16, was on his way to a sweet 16 birthday party with 65 other teens aboard a double-deck Designer Limousines’ bus. The teens had been dancing and the bus had gotten hot. The security guard repeatedly asked the teens to leave the emergency hatch alone and when he went downstairs to tell the driver it was getting hot; Fernandez stuck his head out of the emergency hatch and hit the underside of a highway overpass.
The bus was in New Jersey at the time of the incident and was apparently doing so illegally; it was three inches higher than the maximum height and three feet longer than the maximum length. The company, based out of New York, had also been pulled off the road in that state, but the state Department of Transportation later reversed the decision and the company was granted a “special hauling permit,” despite being larger than regulated dimensions.
There were also concerns raised in that typically there is two staff on board, in addition to the driver, so that there is security on each floor.