Bus driver who hit and killed Skagway Mayor Monica Carlson sentenced to six months in prison

Skagway Mayor Monica Carlson, left. (KHNS file photo)

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’s 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. 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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