There has been another train accident on the commuter rail, this time at South Station in Boston. The Boston Herald reports that approximately 9AM, train 512, which originated in Worcester, failed to stop in time and collided with the end-of-track bumper at South Station, the last stop on the route. Of the approximately 100 passengers on the train, at least 18 people suffered personal injuries, many of whom were treated at local hospitals.
Although the train was allegedly traveling at a speed of 5 miles per hour at the time of the collision, many passengers were standing in preparation for getting off the train and were thrown to the floor and suffered personal injuries. Many patients were taken off the train on backboards by emergency personnel. Boston Medical Center activated its emergency plan in case a large number of injured passengers.
Transportation officials have already suggested that operator error contributed to the collision. Investigations by the MBTA and the National Transportation Safety Board are underway. Preliminary reports have ruled out signal, dispatching, or equipment problems as a cause. The Boston Herald has reported that the train’s engineer told supervisors that he misjudged the stopping distance at the South Station platform. The engineer will be tested for drugs and alcohol.
Ordinarily, trains stop dozens of yards back from the bumpers, which are the emergency devices designed to stop the train at the end of the track and to protect people in the train station. There are no recent reports of other crashes into the bumpers.
For More Information
Train hits South Station bumper, 16 passengers hurt, Boston Herald, September 15, 2009
18 injured in commuter rail mishap at South Station, boston.com, September 15, 2009
Two MBTA Green Line trolleys collided in the tunnel near Park Street Station in Boston, and the accident is being blamed on the operator of the train who was texting his girlfriend while driving. His recklessness forced the train he hit 100 feet down the tunnel, derailed both trains, and injured dozens of passengers on both trains.
The train crash occurred at about 7:18 PM, and the westbound trolley cars were full of commuters headed home and families headed to the Red Sox game. Dozens of people were taken to area hospitals, some with orthopedic injuries.
According to investigators, the first trolley, which consisted of two cars, was stopped at a red signal short of the station. The second trolley, which also had two cars, rear-ended the stopped train. The 24-year-old driver was looking at his cell phone, texting his girlfriend, and when he looked up it was too late to stop. Investigators have not yet determined the speed of the train.
MBTA drivers are forbidden to use cell phones or to text while driving. According to T General Manager Daniel Grabauskas, the driver will probably be fired (we hope so!), and he may also face criminal charges.
The MBTA will be held liable for the injuries sustained by the passenges on the trains. The T is vicariously liable for the negligence of its operators, and operator negligence seems extremely clear in this case. As a common carrier, the MBTA has a high duty of care to its passengers to prevent accidents.
UPDATE: Breakstone, White & Gluck will be representing the most seriously injured passenger from this accident. Please check our news page for more information on the suit filed for this MBTA accident case.
ORIGINAL BLOG: A serious crash involving two MBTA D Line trolleys on May 28th has left the
operator of the second train dead, and dozens of passengers injured and hospitalized. The accident happened as the commuter trains were approaching the Woodland Station in Newton. The first two-car trolley was stopped at a red signal when it was rear-ended by the second two-car train.
Both Green Line trains were packed with evening rush-hour commuters, heading home at about 6:00 PM. Passengers were thrown to the floor. Several were treated on a nearby golf course; several were taken by ambulance to area hospitals with serious injuries; one was taken by MedFlight to the trauma center at Boston Medical Center. Many other passengers found their way to hospitals on their own.