The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority fired the Green Line Operator who caused last week’s MBTA crash at Boylston Station by ramming his trolley into another trolley that was standing in the area. The trolley was arriving at Boylston Station from Park Station. According to the MBTA, the operator was not paying attention and was fatigued due to a second job at which he worked the overnight shift the previous night.
The subway crash occurred a little before noon last Thursday, only minutes into the operator’s shift. Prior to his shift, the operator had worked from midnight to 8 AM, and he did not get adequate rest in between the two shifts. In doing so, he broke rules in place that require MBTA trolley drivers to be fit for duty when they show up for work. Because of this, the employee caused the collision that injured several customers and fellow employees. In addition, the crash caused over a half million dollars in damages to MBTA property. The drivers name and the name of his other employer have not been released to the public. It has also not been released if the investigation found that the operator was actually asleep at the time of the crash.
According to Jonathan Davis, the MBTA Acting General manager, there is a fatigue awareness program in place that the operator had completed twice, and he was aware of the policy that required him to show up to work fit for duty. There is no requirement in place that has a specific numbers of hours of sleep or a rule against having a second job in the MBTA worker policy. The driver had been working for the MBTA since 2006, and had no prior accidents on his record.
As a result of the trolley crash, 37 people were sent to a nearby hospital with various minor injuries. The scene of the accident was filled with emergency workers and local officials. There were also massive delays for public transportation across Boston as the station was closed for a significant portion of the day.
Soon after the MBTA trolley crash occurred trolley and track failures were both ruled out. At that point, attention turned to the operator. When the crash occurred the trolley was moving at approximately 10 to 13 miles per hour.
This incident marks the second Green Line subway crash in Boston in only two months. Over the Boston subway’s hundred-plus year history, there have been many crashes and accidents.
Transportation officials had already been scheduled to receive a report that would look at getting automated signals that would stop vehicles prior to a crash on the Green Line. Although this would cost millions and millions of dollars, it could prevent crashes similar to this one and make it so that trains would not have to run as frequently.
If you or a family member have sustained a personal injury or had an incident with the MBTA Green Line or any form of public transportation, please contact Parker | Scheer LLP for a free consultation with one of our experienced Personal Injury Lawyers.