Party bus owner cited after UNC Charlotte student falls off bus, dies

Credit: Screenshot of GoFundMe page
Credit: Screenshot of GoFundMe page

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The owner of a party bus carrying a 20-year-old UNC Charlotte student who was killed after falling off the bus was issued citations, police announced Monday.

Polly Miranda Rogers was riding in a Charlotte Party Charter bus when she fell out of the emergency window Tuesday night, police say. Rogers was then struck by two other vehicles after falling out of the bus. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

It happened in the 4500 block of North Tryon Street near Wellingford Street shortly before 10:30 p.m.

The bus was not insured and had a fictitious license plate when Rogers was killed, police say, leading to citations for the owner of a party bus, Victor Rabb.

Rabb voluntarily surrendered the bus to NC Highway Patrol to allow investigators to inspect the vehicle for any equipment violations.

According to the police report, while the bus was in the left lane on N. Tryon Street, an emergency window opened and Rogers fell out and into the center travel lane, where she was hit by at least two vehicles.

Rabb says he believes someone opened the emergency exit on the bus' window.

The bus, police said, was going from an off-campus house on Mallard Creek Church Road to a bar in uptown Charlotte.

Alcohol was being consumed on the bus, the report says, but alcohol use as a factor in the incident is still under investigation.

Alcohol is allowed to be brought onto the bus, according to Charlotte Party Charter's website. The site also states everyone on the bus must be at least 21 years old if alcohol is present, but the company says they are not responsible for verifying the ages of the passengers.

Rabb said there were about 55 to 60 people on the bus when the trip started.

UNC Charlotte fraternity chapter Kappa Sigma was the group who rented the bus, according to several of Rogers' friends. The Kappa Sigma Fraternity suspended the operations of the Kappa-Omega Chapter at UNC Charlotte as the investigation into the deadly incident continues.

Police said they have talked to one of the drivers who struck Rogers and are looking for the second. There is no description for that second vehicle.

Rabb showed WBTV how the windows in the bus slide back and forth. He believes that someone pulled the emergency handle on the window near Rogers, which forces the window to open much wider.

A student says Rogers was in the university's Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. Rogers' sorority sisters created a GoFundMe page to help with memorial costs. "This tragedy has left unexpected expenses placed on the Rogers family," the GoFundMe post states.

Friends and students at UNC Charlotte held a vigil Sunday for Rogers.

Anyone with additional information about the second vehicle that may have struck Rogers is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Copyright 2018 WBTV. All rights reserved.