City, News

Driver in T crash has prior speeding violation

Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority authorities are investigating the actions of a T driver with a previous speeding citation involved in the Boylston station trolley collision on Thursday, officials said.

The accident occurred at 11:48 a.m. when one trolley rear-ended another one that was stopped in the station, said MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo.

While no passengers were seriously injured, 30 people reported having mild back or neck pain, he said. Pesaturo said all technical equipment was checked as a possible cause of the accident.

“There were no issues with the tracks, signals, nor trolley equipment,” he said. “Investigators are focused on the actions of the trolley operator.” The driver of the trolley was cited in a safety compliance audit in 2009 for speeding, Pesaturo said. “This July 2009 audit was on Beacon Street in Brookline, C Branch,” he said. “Cited for a rules violation for being 13 miles per hour over the limit. No accident nor any other incident resulted.”

Trolley speed is monitored by radar, similar to the way radar is detected by the police, Pesaturo said. The Green Line managers perform radar checks on a daily basis.

Pesaturo also said the driver was reprimanded for the violation.

“He was disciplined and given re-instruction by the training school,” he said. “He has traveled through hundreds of speed checks since then, with no violations. Not another issue until this week.”

Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald said on Thursday that Boston EMS evaluated 35 passengers, finding no life-threatening injuries.

“We started helping people off the trolley as fast we could,” he said. “In the end, Boston EMS transported several.”

Daniel Ochsner, a 49-year-old Brookline resident, said he was surprised by the incident and the driver’s citation.

“I have ridden the T for years,” he said. “I have never had any trouble with it, but obviously this makes me feel uneasy. I don’t want a driver to injure me or my children.”

Kim Hahn, a graduate student in Boston University’s School of Education, said she was uncomfortable with the news about the driver.

“That shouldn’t be happening,” she said. “There should be some sort of action taken, especially if it is putting the public in danger.”

Natalia Friedman, 63, of Allston, said she is going to continue to ride the T, despite the incident.

“Look,” she said, “I know there are going to be accidents. I don’t feel good about it and I don’t like it, but I know that these sorts of things happen.”

The MBTA’s subway branch and Safety Department are still continuing investigations into the incident, Pesaturo said.

Kyle Plantz contributed to the reporting of this article.

Comments are closed.