The driver operating the train in the recent fatal Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) accident was still a trainee and not certified to drive the train an investigator for the NTSB reports. The railway workers were on strike, and in an effort to provide limited shuttle services, BART was training new drivers. The railway union had previously cautioned that using inexperienced drivers could be dangerous, leading commentators to wonder if the company should have heeded this warning. The accident occurred during a maintenance and training run, when the train struck two workers who were inspecting a section of track. The workers were a contactor and an employee of the transit system.
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Here, this accident is under significant scrutiny. BART officials fail to provide much insight, noting "Both people had extensive experience working around moving trains in both the freight train and the rapid transit industry," and that standard procedure required one employee to inspect the track while the other acted as a traffic lookout, the officials said. The officials did not say whether that procedure had been followed on Saturday.
Further, a striking worker commented, "I think the likelihood of this happening with a regular train operator is a lot lower." Whether BART was negligent in allowing trainees to operate the trains or if other causes were at play will surely be investigated in the days and weeks to come.
For more information or if you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident, please contact the skilled San Francisco trial lawyers at Bostwick and Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.