April 22, 2010

Charges Expected For Truck Driver in Light Rail Crash

Investigators expect to file charges against the driver of a tractor-trailer involved in a light rail crash that occurred March 23, 2010 in Cockeysville, Maryland. According to The Baltimore Sun, the 53-year-old driver was traveling in a 2007 Volvo cab pulling a Wabash trailer filled with plastic bottles. The driver allegedly crossed Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) train tracks at a traffic signal, causing the collision.

The southbound light rail MTA train hit the truck and pushed it down the tracks, splitting the trailer and causing plastic bottles to scatter all over the area. The detached trailer then collided with a 2009 Honda Civic that had been behind the Volvo.

As of March 24, the driver of the MTA train operator remained in Maryland Shock Trauma Center in serious, but stable, condition. Both the Honda and tractor-trailer drivers refused medical treatment on the scene. Investigation into the train collision in Maryland is ongoing.

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March 11, 2010

Homeless Man Killed in Ellicott City Train Accident

A 41-year-old homeless man was struck and killed by a train in Ellicott City, Maryland on February 4, 2010. Based on a news article from explorehoward.com, Howard County Police were called to the scene after the train engineer reported striking someone laying on the tracks. According to reports, the engineer saw the unknown object on the tracks, but was unable to stop the train in time to avoid collision. The train accident in Ellicott City occurred about a half-mile from the end of Maryland Ave. The man was declared dead at the scene when police arrived.

Police do not suspect foul play in this train collision. Detectives found alcohol in the man’s backpack, and reported an odor of alcohol on him. The man may have been sleeping or passed out on the tracks when he was struck. However the accident is still under investigation.

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March 4, 2010

Hanover Man Possibly Struck by Train Undergoes Multiple Surgeries

According to a recent news article, on December 13, 2009 a 21-year-old man woke up seriously injured on the train tracks dividing Anne Arundel and Howard Counties in Maryland. The man was dehydrated with a pounding headache, had torn pants, was wearing one shoe and his legs were throbbing in pain. The last thing he remembered was doing the “Cha Cha Slide” at his company’s Christmas party and claims that he has no idea how he ended up on the train tracks.

Unable to walk, the man reportedly dragged himself along the rail-bed for several hours before crawling down the embankment to Dorsey Rd. before sunrise. Upon finding a passerby, he explained that he was struck by a train, and was eventually taken to Baltimore Washington Medical Center before being transferred to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

Reports indicate that the man and his family live near Ohio Avenue which runs parallel to the railroad tracks used by CSX, Amtrak and MARC trains, and that the area has no fence or railing to prevent someone from walking onto the tracks. Howard County police walked the tracks looking for clues, but only found the man’s missing shoe about 50 feet south of the train station.

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February 23, 2010

Maryland Train Track Incident Kills 2 Workers

A recent examiner.com article reported that two veteran workers on the Washington area’s transit system were killed in Rockville, MD on January 26, 2010 after being crushed by a maintenance truck. Apparently, the automatic train technicians, ages 49 and 68, were installing new train control safety equipment in the track bed when a high rail truck struck them. The track was supposed to have been closed for the evening. However, the special vehicle that hit the two men is capable of operating on the track even when electricity is off, thus explaining its presence during the maintenance work.

With this latest fatal Metro incident, the public is reminded of how deadly a work environment Metro has been for U.S. transit rail workers over the past five years. A National Transportation Safety Board investigator said that the rail truck in this incident was in reverse, which is not uncommon. The Chairman of the Metro board of directors stated that this tragic accident was the direct result of human error.

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October 29, 2009

Maryland Light Rail Collides With Car, 3 Injured

A recent auto collision with a light rail train serves as a reminder of how important it is to use extreme caution when in close proximity to tracks where light rails operate. According to an abc2news.com story, three people were injured when their vehicle crashed into a light rail at the intersection of Howard and Lombard. Apparently, the impact of the train caused the car carrying the three individuals to move approximately 100 yards. One of the victim’s injuries was deemed serious; however, none of the three individuals’ injuries were reported to be life-threatening. They were taken to University of Maryland Medical Center.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police are still investigating the collision to determine its exact cause. If it is determined that negligence on the part of the train operator was responsible for causing the accident, the injured parties may be able to hold the operator liable for financial costs associated with their injuries and property damage.

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June 26, 2009

D.C. Area Train Accident Investigation Unfolds

In the days following the tragic Washington area train accident as investigation into the cause of the accident is unfolding, more information has been revealed; however, much more is still needed. We now know that the train responsible for hitting the other train was operating in automatic mode controlled mainly by computer. But many questions still remain at this time including what caused the computerized system to fail and why the approaching train didn't stop even though the emergency brake activation button was found pushed down. According to an article, an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, Debbie Hersman, said that it remains unclear whether the emergency brake was actually engaged or not.

No train accident has resulted in so many deaths and injuries in Metrorail’s 33 years of operation. Nine lives were lost and over seventy passengers suffered serious injuries due to the collision. Metro General Manager John Catoe said that all signs of the investigation show that the operator, 42 year old Jeanice McMillan of Springfield, Virginia did everything possible in her control to prevent the collision. "There is no evidence whatsoever that this driver has done anything to cause this accident," Catoe said Tuesday. A memorial service for McMillan, who was killed in the accident, is scheduled to take place on June 26, 2009.

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June 25, 2009

NTSB Investigates Fatal Metro Train Collision

Time is of the essence for National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) members as they work tirelessly to preserve as much evidence as possible in order to determine the cause of Monday’s fatal D.C. Metro train accident. At approximately 5 pm, two Red Line six-car trains were apparently on the same track when train 112 crashed into train 214, according to an account. The accident is the deadliest in Metro history and has brought tragedy to the families of the nine people who were killed; a loss that no one should ever have to endure and our condolences certainly go out to them.

The NTSB will be examining multiple factors that could have been the cause of this accident, one of which relates to the Metro’s 1000 series cars – the most aged cars in the system and the type that struck train 214 as it stood still. Aside from the car itself, the investigation will also include looking at the Metro’s train equipment, maintenance, functionality of the fail-safe computerized system that controls speed and braking, signal system, tracks, cell phone and texting records, and whether the striking train’s brakes were applied.

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June 24, 2009

Death Toll of Metro Train Crash Rises to 9

It has now been reported that at least nine people have been killed in Monday’s tragic and fatal Washington D.C. Metro train crash. The collision occurred during rush hour on June 22, 2009 and has sent waves of shock and emotion throughout the nation. Such a catastrophic accident has never been seen in the history of the Metro’s thirty-three year transportation service. At this time, 76 passengers are reported to have experienced personal injuries including two in serious condition.

Jeanice McMillan, 42, the operator of the train, was among those killed in the D.C. train crash. Metro spokeswoman, Candace Smith stated that of the nine confirmed dead, two victims were men and seven were women.

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June 23, 2009

Metro Train Crash Kills at Least Six between D.C. and Maryland Border

A fatal Washington D.C. metro train crash has left at least six dead and as many as seventy-six others injured. The accident, which occurred on Monday, June 22, 2009 just after rush hour, has left residents of the Washington D.C. metropolitan area shocked and saddened. According to one report, Metro spokeswoman Kath Asata said that a six-car Red Line train collided with another Metro train north of downtown Washington D.C. between Fort Totten and Takoma Park, Maryland and then derailed.

Mayor Adrian Fenty is calling this catastrophe the “deadliest crash in the history of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.” The crash occurred just before 5 pm during rush-hour. It has been reported that 76 passengers were taken to area hospitals to treat their personal injuries, including two in critical condition.

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