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Suspect charged in killing on LTD bus

Nathan Wilk
A 30-year-old man has been charged with second degree murder after police said he struck a fellow passenger on an LTD bus in Eugene on Saturday. The victim later died. This is a file photo of the LTD station in downtown Eugene.

A 30-year-old man has been charged with second degree murder after police said he hit a fellow passenger on an LTD bus in Eugene Saturday morning. Police said the victim was taken to a hospital and later died.

Police said the suspect, Derek Jules Dinnell, fled the scene and was later arrested. On Monday morning, police identified the victim as Travis Allen Sanders, age 69, of Springfield.

According to a news release from the Eugene Police Department, the assault took place around 9:00 a.m. Saturday at the EMX station on 11th Ave, just east of Kincaid Street.

In a statement, LTD officials called the violence “shocking, sickening and maddening” and promised to step up efforts to keep passengers and employees safe.

"Our hearts and thoughts are with the family and those that witnessed this detestable act," read the statement, jointly attributed to LTD's CEO Jameson Auten, Board President Caitlin Vargas, and local transit union officer William Bradley. "This type of behavior and tragic outcome has no place on our buses, off our buses, or anywhere in our community."

The transit officials noted that the bus driver and other passengers attempted to intervene, and immediately called for assistance.

"We are thankful for the bravery and grateful for the swift response to their call for help by Eugene Police Officers, University of Oregon Police Officers, LTD’s Transit Officers and Supervisors, and for the Eugene-Springfield Fire Department’s paramedics who responded with care and compassion," the statement read. "We will not allow this act of violence to deter us from providing the service our community expects and has come to rely on us to deliver."

Police said Sunday that detectives are actively seeking additional witnesses in the case. Anyone with information about the attack is asked to call Detective Anne McIntyre at 541-953-9323 or email AMcintyre@eugene-or.gov.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December 2018 and became News Director in March 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”