Fifteen passengers of a light-rail train suffered injuries in a Sept. 19 accident when a bus collided with the train, exactly one week after a catastrophic Metrolink train accident. The Sept. 19 crash may have been caused by the bus driver who ran a red light and crashed into the light-rail train, according to an article in the New York Times.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies, who are investigating the collision, said the bus driver, who was actually a mechanic, was test-driving the nearly empty bus at the time of the accident. The mechanic had reportedly run a traffic light and struck the Metro Blue Line train carrying 250 passengers that had just pulled out of the San Pedro Station.
The train’s front car derailed as the six-car train crashed into the side of the bus. Investigators are also going to look into whether cell phones or any other distractions could have played a part in the accident. In the tragic Metrolink crash, federal investigators have said that the train’s engineer was texting moments before the train he was operating collided with a Union Pacific freight train.
In that case, the Metrolink engineer ran a red stop signal crashing into the freight train. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) runs the Metro Blue Line as well as the bus service. A spokesman for MTA said train engineers and bus drivers have been banned from using cell phones while operating Los Angeles County buses or trains.
I’m extremely relieved that this Los Angeles light-rail train accident was nowhere near as serious or deadly as the Chatsworth Metrolink train accident. Most of the passengers got away with relatively minor injuries. I’m curious as to how and why the bus driver missed the train signal. This is definitely something for the MTA to look into to avoid future collisions at that location. If there is a dangerous condition at that location, they need to fix it right now before another huge tragedy occurs.