‘Beloved GRTC bus Operator’ passes away from COVID-19


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A GRTC bus operator passed away Wednesday night due to complications caused by COVID-19. The diver, 49-year-old John Thrower had been fighting the virus at a local hospital since Aug. 16.

Thrower leaves behind a wife, son and extended family members.

A press release from GRTC announced Thrower’s death, saying he had a beloved GRTC bus operator since 2015.

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 explains that throughout the pandemic GRTC has implemented safety measures and precautions to protect workers and bus riders. “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,” Timm said.

GRTC will continue to fulfill mobility needs of the community including connecting people to housing, jobs, food and health care.

The release says that Thrower did everything he could to serve the community throughout the pandemic.

“John was proud to be a GRTC Operator,” Timm said. She explains that he worked many hours and days of overtime to support the needs of riders in the 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.


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