GRTC Grieves Loss of Operator to COVID-19

For Immediate Release
September 24, 2020
For more information, contact:
CARRIE ROSE PACE – (804) 516-4148 –

GRTC Grieves Loss of Operator to COVID-19
Bus Operator died from complications caused by the virus on September 23, 2020.

RICHMOND, Va. (September 24, 2020) – GRTC was notified late last night of the death of a GRTC bus Operator who died from complications caused by the virus COVID-19. John Thrower, age 49, was admitted to a local hospital on August 16 and died on September 23, 2020. Thrower had been a beloved GRTC bus Operator since January 5, 2015. His last day at work was August 15. He leaves behind a wife, a son and extended family members.

GRTC Chief Executive Officer Julie Timm says, “Last night, I heard the heartbreaking news that John Thrower passed. He was a bright and beautiful soul, and I was always inspired by the positive light he cast here at GRTC. I mourn this tragic loss to our family and our community and extend my deepest condolences to his family and to all who knew him.”

Timm continues, “For months, GRTC has continuously implemented safety measures and precautions to keep our employees and our riders as protected as possible without cutting off the essential trips needed to keep our community connected to housing, jobs, food, and health care. But the virus can be anywhere, anytime, unseen, and we are all at risk each time we step out of our homes and every time someone enters our businesses. Still, GRTC exists to serve our community’s essential mobility needs. John was proud to be a GRTC Operator, and he did everything he could to safely serve the public during this crisis while volunteering many hours and days of overtime to support the essential mobility needs of our community.”

Timm concludes, “This loss to GRTC hits directly into our hearts and reminds us all how deadly this disease can be, and how all of us are susceptible. We share in Mrs. Thrower’s grief.”

Free counseling is available to all GRTC employees and their families through GRTC’s Employee Assistance Program.

For the most complete and latest GRTC updates during this pandemic, please visit our website.

GRTC is a public service corporation providing mobility services in the Greater Richmond area. GRTC’s current operational budget of $60.3M primarily funds daily mobility operations and vehicle maintenance. GRTC provides more than 9.25 million trips annually.