Why You Haven’t Seen Muni Driver Tammy
A few months ago we got an email from Tammy, who told us why we haven’t seen her smiling face on Muni for so many months. In November 2010, Tammy’s 19-year-old son, Deante Fuller, was killed in a car accident near Antioch. Deante’s friend, Steavean Taylor, was arrested and charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run causing death, Paul Burgarino of the Contra Costa Times reported last year. Taylor had left Fuller trapped and dying in the car when they crashed into a tree, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Tammy has been on leave ever since the accident — she said that she did not want to put her passengers in danger while she coped with the trauma of her son’s death. We met with Tammy this month to talk more about her life since her son’s death.
At our meeting, Tammy brought framed photos of Deante, his girlfriend, and their baby daughter Myonie to show me. She and Deante were particularly close because he had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and struggled in school, she told me. The day before his death, Deante helped a woman whose husband had threatened to dump her off the Antioch Bridge, Tammy said. Deante was driving and saw a woman running along the freeway. The woman told him that her husband had been threatening her and Deante drove her to the police station, Tammy said.
Tammy has been working on forming a support group in the Antioch area for parents who have lost their children to violence, she said. She’s made hundreds of fliers with pictures of Deante and her address and phone number, encouraging parents to contact her if they need someone to talk to. Other Muni drivers have been extremely supportive of her family, she said, and many of them were at Deante’s memorial service. She is also working on writing a book and creating a not-for-profit organization called Heavenly Bound Angels in Deante’s memory.
(Tammy and other parents were interviewed in this Contra Costa Times story about mothers of slain children.)
When we first learned about Tammy last year, we knew that she was someone who made living in San Francisco extraordinary. Hands down, running Muni Diaries is a worthwhile experience if only for stories like Greg’s:
I hop on the first bus, frustrated that yet again it would have been faster to drive. The bus driver apologizes, saying the two buses that were supposed to be in front of hers aren’t running today. Then she offers me my choice of wrapped candy from a dish by the fare machine and for the first time I actually look around at bus 2442 driven by Tammy.
It’s like a Fourth of July party inside Tammy’s bus. There are red white and blue streamers, balloons, coils that say “happy,” banners and party lanterns hanging from the railings. Large handwritten posters adorn the windows thanking her riders and spouting truths such as “Until Muni realizes that without our passengers there’s no Muni!” and pretty much everyone has a smile on their face.
Tammy told us that she is working on a website for her support group, but needs someone with more tech experience to set up a basic site. If you want to get in touch with Tammy, you can contact her here.
What an awful thing for her to go through. She obviously has a big heart, though. Will she return to Muni at some point? Thanks for sharing this update.
need more ppl like her working the busses instead of grumpy old guys that give attitude. condolences to her and her family for their loss.
My thoughts and prayers are with Tammy. It was a pleasure to ride with her on the 33-Stanyan Outbound.
Tammy be well. Peace, Love and great Karma are shining upon you.
My prayers are with this fine woman that she and her surviving family will find, peace, comfort, and prosperity.
What a whiff of fresh air people like Tammy are.
Last week on a flight from Salt Lake City to SFO on a Delta flight, I asked an air hostess to exchange the peanut packet she gave me for a pack of cookies. “I don’t have cookies”, she barked. Fearing she would call the FBI and F16’s would escort me down into SFO if I asked her to be polite, I just let it go. The worst part is that she was old enough to have teenaged grandchildren.
I hope more and more people who come in contact with the public on a day to day basis, have an attitude like Tammy’s.
God bless you Tammy….Stay well.
Although I do not live in San Francisco but I have a history of taking Muni while visiting. Tammy is the exception when it comes to public relations and should be commended for her spirit. May her heart heal and enable her to return to her job she apparently loves. May her pain be lifted so her gift may flourish.
Good for her for knowing her limitations….but I hope we’re not talking paid leave beyond a grieving period and earned time off / paid time off / vacation time….
Tragedies occur, sorry for the loss to this sweet sounding woman – but I do believe we need to handle our stresses – and there’s disability to do that with.
Zoe, I believe Tammy is on unpaid/disability leave.
Wow, what a fantastic spirit and sense of faith in the face of tragedy.
It’s nice the Muni Diaries mixes in the stories of real Muni operators amongst the snarkiness to remind us that there is a human element to our city’s little mass transit system.
Update: Tammy is driving again, though she has no set route as of yet. She was behind the wheel of the 24 Divisadero this morning, with a warm smile that Muni should bottle and give to all its employees.
I vote for assigning Tammy to the 24 line. But I’m sure 33 riders would beg to differ.
Tammy’s support group is called HeavenlyBoundAngels.org, and its message is one you’d expect from someone with such a big heart: “From Pain to Purpose.”
Tammy, you’re an inspiration.
Met tammy yesterday as i hadnt had the exact of money she just let me hop on the bus while it was raining and i was a little lost in this city…. we had one of the most loveliest conversations about family bonds, human value over money and many more topics….we shared a really nice ride togehter and i hope from my bottom of my heart that she keeps that wonderful ability to brighten the day of everybody around her… tammy you really are a wonderful person and i wish you just the best
Your german son from another mother
Ps: yeah my mom was touched by the story of the lovly bus driver tammy who brought her son savely to his destination and i send you her thanks for that