Colleagues remember officer killed by RIPTA bus

Officer Frank McKnight

US Marshal Jamie Hainsworth was joined by U.S. District Court Chief Judge William Smith and North Kingstown Police Chief Thomas Mulligan on Friday to remember court security officer and retired North Kingstown police Lt. Frank McKnight.

McKnight was struck and killed by a Rhode Island Public Transit Authority bus.

"North Kingstown is very much a small community atmosphere, so he was well-known, well-liked," Mulligan said.

And McKnight was liked in downtown Providence, especially by state and local officials that saw him every day.

"Frank's absence is immediately felt by walking into this building this morning," Hainsworth said.

"We have virtually hundreds of people in and out of these buildings and crossing these streets every day and we have to make sure that this never happens again," Smith said.

McKnight, 69, was struck by the bus Wednesday as he walked in a crosswalk between the federal courthouse and a federal building across Washington Street. He died Thursday night.

"I sent an email to everybody today explaining that we are going to be addressing this with the appropriate authorities," Smith said.

Smith is taking a hard line approach to improving the situation, calling for a better traffic control plan in Kennedy Plaza, a project that is already being considered by the city.

Kennedy Plaza in its current state has 12 lanes of traffic, while proposed upgrades show a plan cutting traffic lanes by more than half.

"It is by far the most difficult day I've experienced in this court in the almost 12 years that I've been here." Smith said.

Providence police continue to investigate. No charges have been filed against the driver.