BOSTON (CBS) – It was a mild December day, so Mark Delaney decided to ride his motorcycle to a union meeting in downtown Boston.
On his way home, Delaney looked forward to putting up Christmas decorations with his family at his Dorchester home.
As he cruised along Dorchester Avenue on that Sunday morning in 2015, Delaney saw a MBTA bus approaching in the opposite direction.
“At the last moment, the bus cut right in front of me,” Delaney recalled. “I tried to stop and just couldn’t. It was too sudden.”
Surveillance video the WBZ I-Team obtained shows Delaney collide with the side of the bus as it makes a left-hand turn into the MBTA’s Cabot Yard facility. Other angles from cameras mounted on the bus then show Delaney knocked from his motorcycle, landing in violent heap on the pavement.
Upon impact, his right leg snapped, bending grotesquely as he agonized in the middle of the street.
“I can’t believe I didn’t black out because the pain was just amazing,” Delaney told the I-Team.
Wife Shirley remembers getting the frantic phone call as first responders attended to her husband. At one point, they tried to straighten his broken leg to place him on the stretcher.
“All of a sudden, he screamed as loud as he could. I’ve never heard anything like that,” Shirley said. “Everything went silent. And I basically freaked out.”
Delaney feared he would lose his leg from the accident. However, after five surgeries, a metal plate, and more than a dozen screws, doctors managed to save his limb.
Through an emotional and grueling recovery, there was one image Delaney could not escape.
“I remember lying on the ground and watching the bus just drive away,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it.”
Watch: Video Shows Crash Involving MBTA Bus
The surveillance video shows the driver never stopped, continuing into the maintenance yard and parking a significant distance from the accident scene. In the video, the driver then gathers her belongings, walks to the spot where Delaney smashed into the bus, and then leaves the area.
Several minutes later, the driver returns to the bus with another MBTA employee and is escorted back to the scene to speak with police officers.
The ensuing MBTA Transit Police investigation cited the driver with several violations.
A police report concluded the video depicted the driver “clearly leaving the scene of the accident and making no apparent attempt to stop at the time of the accident or return to the scene until driven back to the accident scene by an MBTA employee.” The transit agency later fired the driver.
Delaney and his wife hired an attorney to recoup the hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses, lost wages from his long-time job at Boston Sewer & Water Commission, and the emotional toll on their marriage.
“It was a nightmare I thought I’d never wake up from,” Shirley expressed.
Early this year, the couple thought they might be able to put the nightmare behind them, agreeing to a settlement offer of $900,000. It was a chance at closure, Delaney thought.
However, there was an unexpected surprise: Leaders at the MBTA decided not to settle the case.
“It was just a slap in the face. I think I’ve been through enough,” Delaney said.
The agency declined to answers questions about who made that decision and why.
“The T does not comment on pending litigation,” spokesman Joe Pesaturo said.
The I-Team showed the surveillance video to Rick Weiner, a Worcester personal injury attorney of more than 30 years. Weiner expressed surprise the MBTA could let the case, especially with the damaging video, potentially be decided by a jury.
“This is a case that could be well over double or triple what was originally on the table,” Weiner said. “That’s a big mistake they’re making. They are gambling with taxpayer money and it’s not a wise business decision.”
The MBTA is also using an outside firm, Sloane and Walsh, LLP, so defending the lawsuit will come at an added expense to taxpayers.
Shirley and Mark Delaney had never seen the surveillance video until the I-Team recently showed them the footage at a Dorchester park.
As the bus approached the intersection, Delaney’s breathing became heavy and audible. Shirley could feel her husband tremble in anticipation of what was coming next.
“That’s not easy to watch,” Delaney said, visibly choked up. “Seeing the bus drive away makes me furious. Absolutely furious.”
The couple is now preparing for the legal battle ahead.
“I own this injury for the rest of my life,” Delaney said. “I just don’t see the MBTA accepting responsibility here. That’s the justice I need.”
Ryan Kath can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow him on Twitter or connect on Facebook.